Six extra races as Royal Ascot schedule revealed

There will be six extra races at Royal Ascot this year, with the Saturday hosting an eight-race card.
There will be six extra races at Royal Ascot this year, with the Saturday hosting an eight-race card.

Royal Ascot will have a markedly different look this year, after organisers released a revamped schedule for the five-day meeting, which includes six new races. 

The Royal meeting is scheduled to take place behind closed doors in its regular slot, and due to the unprecedented conditions for racing when the action resumes this year - which include all races being capped at a maximum of 12 runners, Ascot have announced a several alterations to the five-day programme. 

There will now be seven races on each of the first four days, while the final day of the meeting will boast an eight race card. Further to this, the meeting will now begin with the Buckingham Palace Handicap - a seven furlong handicap which was replaced by the Commonwealth Cup in 2015 - rather than the traditional curtain-raiser, the Queen Anne Stakes

Three new races also join the programme for this year in the form of the Copper Horse Handicap, the Golden Gates Handicap and the Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap, while both the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes will have consolation races. 

The names of the new races are all related to either the Royal meeting or the Royal family; the Copper Horse is a statue of King George III mounted on horseback marking the end of the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park, adjacent to the racecourse; The Golden Gates are the ceremonial entrance point for the Royal Procession at the end of the straight mile; and The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland. 

Meanwhile, several races have been moved from their regular slots, and the two races for the classic generation over a mile - the St James's Palace Stakes and the Coronation Stakes - will be moved to the final day of the meeting to ensure the widest gap between those races and the Guineas at Newmarket (which are due to be run on the 6th and 7th June). On top of this, four of the six two-year-old races at the meeting will be run on the Friday and the Saturday to provide the juveniles with as much time as possible before they race. 

Ascot Tips

It means that the King Edward VII Stakes and Ribblesdale Stakes - which are now key Derby and Oaks Trials - will be on the opening day in order to maximise the gap to the Epsom Derby and Oaks (4th July). The Hampton Court Stakes, also an eligible Epsom trial this year, will be run on the second day of the meeting.

Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot Racecourse, said: "We are most grateful to the BHA's race planning team for their assistance in framing the additional races for this exceptional renewal of Royal Ascot.

"We hope these extra opportunities will be welcomed by horsemen, broadcasters and the public at home.

"Under Ruth Quinn, a lot of work has gone into scheduling an appropriate Pattern trials programme, beginning on 3rd June, alongside an enhanced two-year-old programme.

"We are of course taking nothing for granted in terms of government's final approval to permit behind closed doors sporting events from 1st June. We are announcing the programme today, with the dates of the Royal Meeting already public as part of the wider schedule for resumption, so that Horsemen can begin their detailed planning."

Royal Ascot Order of Running

Day One - Tuesday 16th June 2020

Buckingham Palace Handicap (7f, 3yo+)

Queen Anne Stakes (1m, Group One, 4yo+)

Ribblesdale Stakes (1 1/2m, Group Two, 3yo fillies)

King Edward VII Stakes (1 1/2m, Group Two, 3yo colts & geldings)

King's Stand Stakes (5f, Group One, 3yo+

Duke of Cambridge Stakes (1m, Group Two, 4yo+ fillies and mares)

Ascot Stakes Handicap (2 1/2m, 4yo+)

Day Two - Wednesday 17th June 2020

Silver Royal Hunt Cup Handicap (1m, 3yo+)

Hampton Court Stakes (10f, Group Three, 3yo)

King George V Handicap (1 1/2m, 3yo)

Prince of Wales's Stakes (10f, Group One, 4yo+)

Royal Hunt Cup Handicap (1m, 3yo+)

Windsor Castle Stakes (5f, Listed, 2yo)

Copper Horse Handicap (1 3/4m, 4yo+)

Day Three - Thursday 18th June 2020

Golden Gates Handicap (10f, 3yo)

Wolferton Stakes (10f, Listed, 4yo+)

Jersey Stakes (7f, Group Three, 3yo)

Chesham Stakes (7f, Listed, 2yo)

Gold Cup (2 1/2m, Group One, 4yo+)

Britannia Handicap (1m, 3yo colts & geldings)

Sandringham Handicap (1m, 3yo, fillies)

Day Four - Friday 19th June 2020

Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap (5f, 3yo)

Albany Stakes (6f, Group Three, 2yo fillies)

Norfolk Stakes (5f, Group Two, 2yo)

Hardwicke Stakes (1 1/2m, Group Two, 4yo+

Commonwealth Cup (6f, Group One, 3yo colts & fillies)

Queen's Vase (1 3/4m, Group Two, 3yo)

Duke of Edinburgh Handicap (1 1/2m, 3yo+)

Day Five - Saturday 20th June 2020

Silver Wokingham Handicap (6f, 3yo+

Queen Mary Stakes (5f, Group Two, 2yo fillies)

Coronation Stakes (1m, Group One, 3yo fillies

Coventry Stakes (6f, Group Two, 2yo)

St James's Palace Stakes (1m, Group One, 3yo colts)

Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6f, Group One, 4yo+)

Wokingham Handicap (6f, 3yo+)

Queen Alexandra Stakes (2 3/4m, Conditions, 4yo+)

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