Royal Ascot 2024: When is it, how to watch on TV and full race schedule

Desert Hero ridden by Tom Marquand wins the King George V Stakes during day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire
Royal Ascot is a meeting unlike any other - PA/David Davies

Royal Ascot is the crown jewel in the British racing crown, with five days of racing set against the type of glitz, glamour and royal patronage that other meetings can only dream of.

In recognition of the King’s continued support of racing and this meeting in particular, the King’s Stand Stakes (run on the first day of the meeting) has been renamed the King Charles III Stakes.

Last year, the King attended every day of the meeting and will likely do so again this year as he leads the Royal Procession – the traditional curtain-raiser to each day of the meeting.

This year’s meeting will see overall prize-money tip beyond £10 million for the first time, with all eight Group 1 races to be worth a minimum of £650,000.

Some of the race timings at Ascot have been altered to take into account high profile football matches at Euro 2024.

Click HERE for full details on race times, tips and guides to each of the meeting’s 35 contests as the entries for each day are unveiled throughout this week.

When is Royal Ascot?

This year’s meeting takes place over five days from June 18 until June 22 at Ascot racecourse in Berkshire. The first race on each day of the meeting will go off at 2.30pm, with the final race due off at 6.15pm.

How do I watch it in the UK?

Every race of the meeting will be broadcast live on ITV1, with coverage also available on Sky Sports Racing for subscribers.

How do I watch it in the US?

Assisted by veteran racing anchor Nick Luck, NBC’s streaming service Peacock will offer full coverage of the meeting, as will betting-orientated channel FanDuelTV.

Which of the King’s horses are running?

The King and Queen currently have three horses entered across the meeting. Treasure (Ribblesdale Stakes), High Order (King Edward VII Stakes) and Desert Hero (Hardwicke Stakes) are in the running to take their place at the meeting. That number could yet rise once entries for the handicaps are confirmed.

Last year, the King and Queen had a memorable winner at the meeting when the aforementioned Desert Hero roared home to take the King George V Stakes.

Latest news

Ascot tweaks race cards to avoid TV clashes with Euros

Ascot has changed its race times and running order to accommodate television coverage of football’s European Championship.

The Royal meeting starts a week on Tuesday and broadcasts will flit between ITV1 and ITV4 although all Group One races will be shown on the main channel with the fourth race on the card, being put back five minutes to 4.25 from 4.20pm with a subsequent five-minute knock-on for races five, six and seven.

For example on Thursday June 20, ITV1 will be showing Slovenia versus Serbia from 2pm and, later in the evening Spain versus Italy at 8pm. It will broadcast the Gold Cup on ITV 1 at 4.25pm before England kick off their group stage clash with Denmark in Frankfurt at 5pm (a game which is being shown on BBC1).

‌On Friday the Coronation Stakes and Saturday the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes will be run as the third rather than fourth races.

A spokesperson for Ascot said: “We’ve worked with our broadcast partners to make a few changes to the running order and timings to maximise exposure of our Group One races with the European Championships also taking place in June.

“We’ll show all the games on screens around the site in all enclosures which will hopefully add to the day for everybody attending.”

In 2019, when Royal Ascot was six races a day, ITV covered all six races on one or other channel. When it went to seven on a ‘temporary’ basis to make up for lost opportunities to race during Covid in 2020, ITV still just covered six races but in 2021 when the extra race each day became a permanent addition ITV started covering all seven races a day making them all available on terrestrial television.

It is not the first time racing has altered race times for football. Last year the Derby was run early at 1.30pm to avoid a clash with the FA Cup.

Royal Ascot 2024: day-by-day guide

Tuesday June 18

Race to watch

As ever there is no gradual build up to the best day, it’s bang, straight in, three Group Ones, the first day is for the racing aficionado. It is a while since it has been the case but St James’s Palace Stakes is as it should be, pitting the Newmarket Guineas winner, Notable Speech, against the French Guineas winner Metropolitan against the Irish, Rosallion, with a couple of other decent three-year-old colt milers thrown in for good measure. It’s winner take all in terms of reputation.

Tip of the day

If Royal Scotsman runs in the Queen Anne (2.30) he looks a huge price at 25-1 after a confidence boosting all-the-way win in the Diamed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day. He had lost his way a bit since finishing third in last year’s Guineas but refound his mojo with front running tactics, a bit of juice in the ground and will come into this unconsidered but with his dander up. Not a certain runner if ground is quick.

Race by race

Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) - 2:30pm
I am not sure this is the best edition of this race. I have stated the case for Royal Scotsman but if he does not turn up Charyn appears to be the most consistent among this lot and is due a big one. Audience won the Lockinge as a pacemaker for Inspiral to the point where John Gosden was almost thinking of Switching Inspiral, fourth there, to the Prince of Wales’s to cover two bases for Cheveley Park. She should strip fitter. Big Rock won the QEII here last October but will only run to that rating on soft or heavy ground.

Coventry Stakes (Group 2) - 3:05pm
The most prestigious of the meeting’s juvenile races. It’s tricky. The winner needs a mix of precocity and ability and there’s not much evidence to go on, a couple or three starts at most. A lot of trainers will fancy their chances, at this stage of the season as a lot of their geese still look like swans but I like Karl Burke’s narrow York winner Andesite, still available at double-figure odds, to take a big step forward from that run.

King Charles III Stakes (Group 1) - 3:45pm
This five-furlong dash is likely to be over in the time it takes to pour a Pimms. If you were wondering what happened to the first-day staple, the King’s Stand Stakes, this is it; renamed in honour of the present monarch. Ironically for one of the world’s iconic sprints it only became a race in 1860 when its two mile predecessor could not be run because of waterlogged ground and this was run over the only raceable ground. Sprinters tend to have their days because it all needs to fall into place but we love Big Evs, who was fast enough at two to go to America and win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf sprint in their back yard. Still looks rapido.

St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) - 4:25pm
This should go a long way to sorting out bragging rights for the best miler of this year’s Classic generation. Unlike the English, French and Irish Guineas there’s a sharpish bend in the course here but it should not change much. Metropolitan probably wants juice, Rosallion went one better in Ireland and is a magnificent looking beast but Notable Speech, who beat him at Newmarket, is unbeaten, looked a bit green on the Rowley Mile and finished with his ears pricked. He should go in again but will be priced up accordingly. 

Ascot Stakes (Handicap) - 5.05pm
If the King Charles III is run in the time it takes to pour (rather than make) a Pimms, this is more of a Guinness with plenty of time for to settle; a two and a half mile handicap essentially to give jumps trainers their annual outing in top hat and tails. The Irish jumpers The Shunter and Pied Piper fought out the Cesarewitch last autumn and neither should be too far away here.

Wolferton Stakes (Listed) - 5:40pm 
Another handicap, this time over a mile and a quarter. I am never quite sure how York form works out at Ascot and vice versa but Botanical was a wide margin winner up there on his reappearance and I dare say will start a warm order to continue his ascent of the handicap ranks. The booking of William Buick is a good sign.

Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) - 6:15pm 
A fairly new addition to the race programme, a long-distance handicap named after the statue of George III on Snow Hill at the south end of the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. Made of melted down brass canon, ironically. Improving mare Divine Comedy is also in the Ascot Stakes but if Harry Eustace takes this option she might take a bit of stopping. The young trainer already has an excellent Royal Ascot record having had a winner here in ‘22 and ‘23.

Wednesday June 19

Race to watch

Well normally you would have to say it was the Group One race, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, but there’s only one superstar in it, last year’s mercurial Derby winner Auguste Rodin. He either wins or pretty much pulls up depending on which side of the bed he gets out. Last time, however, he added a new finishing position to his repertoire, second, which is neither winning well or losing heavily so I am not sure what to make of him.

Tip of the day

Richard Hughes rode 30 plus winners at Royal Ascot but has yet to break his duck at the meeting as a trainer. To be fair he has not had many good shots until this year and Real Gain has a good profile in the Royal Hunt Cup. Obviously draw is a big factor and we will not know what a good draw is until after the race. He has been bought by Wathnan Racing, which is a good sign, the year old Qatari outfit putting its money where its mouth is. He could be a Group horse in handicap.

Race by race

Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) – 2:30pm
Any number of trainers will think they have the good thing in this race full of speedy one-run winners and how you equate British form with the American form of Wesley Ward’s three possible runners is another story altogether. Make Haste, trained by a Brazilian in Ireland, is likely to start favourite. Soft ground generally rules out the US speedballs and their catch me if you can style of running often sets the race up for a late closer.

The Queen’s Vase (Group 2) – 3:05pm
A bit of a consolation for slow Derby horses or, if you are being kinder, an early trial for St Leger types. It is just the sort of race Aidan O’Brien targets with a horse he thinks might have Gold Cup potential further down the line. I like the look of Jessica Harrington’s Birdman, unbeaten in two starts and progressing nicely.

Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) – 3:45pm
A Group Two mile race for mares and fillies. The Prince of Wales, whose interest in horses which do not play polo is probably minimal gets two races in a row on the Wednesday. The likely favourite is John and Thady Gosden’s Laurel but she has not run since finishing almost last in the Lockinge a year ago. It is a tough ask to come here first time out for a while as Inspiral (same owner, trainer) proved in the Queen Anne last year.  

Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1) – 4:25pm
Auguste Rodin is the class act but he could finish last just as easily win by three lengths. The only time he came here before was for last year’s King George in which he was beaten 127 lengths. So lets take a punt that he if he is there in person he is not in mind in which case I cannot work out why White Birch, who beat him an easy three lengths last time, is 5-2 when Auguste Rodin is 6-4. The grey horse wins it for me. 

Royal Hunt Cup (Handicap) – 5.05pm
I am not sure I have put Real Gain in as bet of the day in which is part lottery, part cavalry charge but the trainer is pretty confident notwithstanding the draw. There will be plenty with chances at a big price. Won by Jimi Hendrix last year, same stable’s Sonny Liston expected to go well this time after finishing second and winning the group on his side of the course 12 months ago.

The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) – 5:40pm
A handicap for the fairer sex over a mile. If the rain comes Doha is interesting dropping back in trip. Elim is interesting. She shook the cobwebs off after a year off and Ed Bethall has crack Australian female rider Rachel King (English to her core but doing very well down under) down to ride her in the six day declarations. Rachel is back home on her honeymoon. 

Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) – 6:15pm
Blink and, like the first, you’ll miss this juvenile dash. This is just the sort of race Archie Watson does well in so have a good look at his Bath winner Aesterius and Vingegaard who won at Chepstow. Otherwise its a lot of quick babies with not much form to go on.

Thursday June 20

Race to watch

Always the Gold Cup. The world’s longest Group One race with a history dating back to 1807. Because a lot of these horses spend most of the rest of their lives running over shorter distances the draw is important because you want to bury your mount on the inside and let him go to sleep for the first mile and a half. Those caught wide invariably end up chewing the bit and doing too much.

Bet of the day

Every royal trainer is doing their level best to have a winner for the King and Queen at Ascot. William Haggas is the only one to have achieved the feat so far with Desert Hero last year. This time around – possibly the caveat that the rain comes, though, this summer, it’s a dead cert – Gilded Water looks interesting in the King George V Stakes or, if they get brave, the Hampton Court. Won his last start on good-to-soft by seven and a half lengths at Chepstow, he has got to improve again but definitely going the right way.

Race by race

Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) – 2.30
One for the precocious speedy types. A lot of these are double entered but Aidan O’Brien’s Whistlejacket, interestingly named after the Marquess of Rockingham’s 18th century racehorse which was more famous for being the subject of one of (famous equine artist) George Stubbs’s greatest works, was a wide-margin winner last time out and he sets the bar.

King George V Stakes (Handicap) – 3.05
We’ve mentioned the royal runner Gilded Water but this is one when we really have to see what is declared at the 48-hour stage and it would help to be clearer about the going. George Boughey’s Fouroneohfever has won his past three races and could find a bit more improvement for the step up in trip, and might be able to give wunderkind Billy Loughnane a first Royal winner.

Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) – 3.45
An Oaks consolation in which several of the Epsom fillies’ Classic also-rans will turn up hoping they handle Ascot better than they did Tattenham Hill, and that it did not take too much out of them. I like Lava Stream, a Goodwood winner last time at a good price and looking like she’d be even better over an extra quarter of mile.

Gold Cup (Group 1) – 4.25
When Kyprios won this race two years ago, he was the secondary story to Frankie Dettori’s nightmare ride on Stradivarius and the subsequent fall out with his owner and trainer. Kyprios went on to win the Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and Cadran. He then had a year off and returned last autumn a bit below his best but he has won both starts this time including by a length at 1/12 last time. That may not sound impressive but he races lazily and only does enough which is what you want. Coltrane and Gregory to fill the minors.

Britannia Stakes (Handicap) – 5.05
A mile handicap for three-year-olds in which you probably want something well drawn and ahead of the handicapper, so its a bit early to say. They improve at different rates so maybe best to keep an eye on the market. At this stage I like Arctic Thunder but reserve the right to change my mind (as I did with I Am Maximus in the Grand National – all over him a month before, couldn’t have him on the day).

Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) – 5.40
Bracken’s Laugh might be the one here. He is a big horse so understandably did not handle Chester brilliantly last time when he was second, but that was in a Derby trial. He is not ground dependent and if he gets a strong gallop then I’ll meet in you in the Tote payout queue afterwards.

Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) – 6.15
Carrytheone was a narrow winner last time after meeting trouble in running. Blew the start in the Victoria Cup over course and distance so let’s hope that was a one-off and not an Ascot thing.

Friday June 21

Race to watch

Just as the best race on day one is the St James’s Palace over a mile for three-year-old colts, on Friday it’s the fillies equivalent, the Coronation Stakes. It does not quite boast the winners of the English, French and Irish Guineas because the winner of the latter, Fallen Angel, is not running now. But this is when we get to find out whether the Newmarket winner Elmalka was a flash in the pan who picked up the pieces in a fast run race; whether Ramatuelle improves for Oisin Murphy in the saddle; and whether Opera Singer, third in Ireland, is now fully tuned.

Bet of the day

Blue Storm in the Palace of Holyrood House Stakes. A sprinter going places trained by one of the rising stars of the training ranks, Yorkshire-based Gemma Tutty. He won the Dash at Epsom and, though it is a very different course, expect to see him played late. Caveat: he would not want huge amounts of rain.

Albany Stakes (Group 3) – 2.30 
Another load of youngsters with not much to go in the way of evidence. The market will provide a better guide than me but I quite like Simmering who will be bidding to give Ollie Sangster his first Royal Ascot winner in only his second season. His grandfather Robert, of course, was a legendary owner in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Equally legendary actress Joan Collins famously came a cropper in the Royal Enclosure when she wore the name badge ‘Mrs Robert Sangster’ and nearly evicted by the authorities.

Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) – 3.05
The race – first run in 2015, to give three-year-old sprinters a chance to run against their own age group rather than get thumped by their elders in either the Charles III or QEII Jubilee Stakes – was won by Shaquille last year. Inisherin has been supplemented after winning the Sandy Lane well at Haydock last week. Vandeek was a very fast unbeaten two-year-old and should come on for his comeback run. Elite Status broke the track record at Newbury on his return and I will probably side with him.

Coronation Stakes (Group 1) – 3.45 
The French have been missing in action at this meeting for a few years with numbers and winners right down because they just haven’t had the horses. But Christopher Head –  the Heads are French racing royalty –  is leading the fight back. And while Ramatuelle appeared not to stay in the Guineas when third to Elmalka, she was on the pace all the way and sent early by her French jockey. He’s been sacked in favour of Oisin Murphy, the bend will help her get the trip and, ooh la la, the French should be back in business again.

Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) – 4.25
A mile-and-a-half handicap which was won by Joseph O’Brien last year, and he has a few entries again. At six Bague D’Or, trained by James Ferguson, is lightly raced over the past couple of seasons and therefore still open to improvement, and possibly good enough to win this on the way to the Ebor at York after a reappearance win at Newmarket. Otherwise four-year-olds have a good record in this race.

Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) –  5.05 
Fair Angelica can get Richard Hughes out of a bit of a pickle here. He hoped first time out she would go up enough in the ratings to ensure she got in the race but she only went up 2lbs so he had to run her again. She won it a bit too well and the handicapper put her up 10lbs for a two-and-a-half length win. However, she didn’t half win and she may still be in front of the handicapper even though on the face of it he appears to have been harsh.

King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) –  5.45 
Ascot’s Derby consolation race means mass entries from Aidan O’Brien. There was not much between Meydaan and Space Legend at Goodwood last time but you would have to say Space Legend was an unlucky loser. Subsequently bought by Wathnan Racing which is a good sign and everything points to him.

Palace of Holyrood House Stakes (Handicap) – 6.20 
I have gone for Blue Storm in this but it is a five-furlong sprint handicap and everything slightly needs to fall into place and, on top of that, there are one or two potentially smart sprinters in here. The draw will also have to be taken into consideration.

Saturday June 22

  • Chesham Stakes (Listed) - 2:30pm

  • Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) - 3:05pm

  • Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) - 3:45pm

  • Jersey Stakes (Group 3) - 4:25pm

  • Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) - 5.05pm

  • Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) - 5:40pm

  • Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) - 6:15pm

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