The 2020 edition of the Royal Ascot is set to hold from June 16-20. But this year’s event would be a meeting like no other. It would not feature the usual pomp or have the Royal procession like in previous years.
This is the first time Queen Elizabeth II would not be present at the race in her 68-year reign. Indeed the coronavirus has completely turned things around.
Britain only allowed sporting events to resume this month and part of the condition is that spectators would not be allowed at the venue. So this year’s Royal Ascot would hold behind closed doors, that is closed to the public, with very few people present. In fact, trainers and horse owners would not be allowed the venue.
Even punters have been advised to dress up and stay at home. Jockeys would have to wear a mask to ride and there has been adequate preparation in the changing room to ensure their safety.
Although things may seem very different now, it is not all bad. Six additional races have been added to make a total of 36, to take place over the course of five days, even though the prize money has been almost halved from £7.2m last year to £3.9m this year.
But that is still very rich taking into cognisance the fact that there would be no money earned from gate fees this year compared to last year where a massive 285,000 people were in attendance.
Tuesday’s racing begins with the Buckingham Palace Handicap, which has not been on the card for quite some years. After that is the Queen Anne Stakes, which is a Grade One race.
Circus Maximus, a horse trained by Aidan O’Brien is tipped to win the race, having won a Grade One race in the previous year. Another Grade One race, the King’s Stand Stakes, would hold later in the afternoon. Races would begin every day by 13:15 BST except on Saturday, the final day when it would begin by 12:40 BST.
Horseracing lovers would get to catch the event on Sky Sports Racing and ITV, which would broadcast it to more than 120 countries.
Written by: Leon Osamor