Royal Ascot 2014: Dates, Race Schedule, Preview and More

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

ASCOT, ENGLAND - MAY 10: Richard Hughes riding Intrinsic (L) win The Espirito Santo Investment Bank Handicap Stakes at Ascot racecourse on May 10, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The most anticipated meeting of the Flat racing season gets underway on Tuesday for the first of five days of Royal Ascot 2014.

Quality races are guaranteed as the Queen Anne Stakes starts things off, before the Queen Alexandra Stakes eventually closes out proceedings on Saturday afternoon.

There is at least one Group 1 race on each day of the meeting, a measure of the immense quality on show, while the usual big handicap races are a lottery for riders and punters alike.

Read on for a full schedule and preview of five days of fantastic racing in Berkshire where more than 250,000 spectators will travel to take part in the pomp, the ceremony and the drama.

Royal Ascot 2014: Race Schedule
June 172:30 p.m.Queen Anne Stakes
June 173:05 p.m.King’s Stand Stakes
June 173:45 p.m.St James’s Palace Stakes
June 174:25 p.m.Coventry Stakes
June 175 p.m.Ascot Stakes
June 175:35 p.m.Windsor Castle Stakes
June 182:30 p.m.Jersey Stakes
June 183:05 p.m.Windsor Forest Stakes
June 183:45 p.m.Prince of Wales’s Stakes
June 184:25 p.m.Royal Hunt Cup
June 185 p.m.Queen Mary Stakes
June 185:35 p.m.Sandringham Stakes
June 192:30 p.m.Norfolk Stakes
June 193:05 p.m.Ribblesdale Stakes
June 193:45 p.m.Gold Cup
June 194:25 p.m.Britannia Stakes
June 195 p.m.Tercentenary Stakes
June 195:35 p.m.King George V Stakes
June 202:30 p.m.Albany Stakes
June 203:05 p.m.King Edward VII Stakes
June 203:45 p.m.Coronation Stakes
June 204:25 p.m.Wolferton Rated Stakes
June 205 p.m.Queen’s Vase
June 205:35 p.m.Buckingham Palace Stakes
June 212:30 p.m.Chesham Stakes
June 213:05 p.m.Hardwicke Stakes
June 213:45 p.m.Golden Jubilee Stakes
June 214:25 p.m.Wokingham Stakes
June 215 p.m.Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
June 215:35 p.m.Queen Alexandra Stakes


Consistent Quality Across the Week

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 22:  Jamie Spencer riding on York Glory (C) leads the field on his way to winning The Wokingham Stakes during day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2013 in Ascot, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The opening day of racing is all about the St James's Palace Stakes, featuring a rematch of last month's 2000 Guineas, which saw Kingman beaten into second place by Night Of Thunder.

Kingman went on to win the Irish 2000 Guineas, but the renewing of this particular rivalry is a tasty day-one clash and Coral's David Stevens' pick of the whole week:

Elsewhere on Tuesday the opening race will obviously be highly anticipated, and the Richard Hannon-trained Toronado leads the field for the curtain-raiser in 2014.

Day 2 sees the running of the Prince of Wales's Stakes in the headline slot. The 1m 2f Group 1 race sees eight declared with France's Treve making her British debut and hotly tipped to triumph, per the Racing Post:

The Royal Hunt Cup should also be an attraction on Wednesday, the quite massive field meaning long odds are available for many of the runners in the one-miler.

Thursday is Gold Cup day, the headline race of the entire meeting. Last year's winner, Estimate—trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by the Queen—will be looking to repeat the trick but faces a stern test having raced only once since that win, per Cornelius Lysaght on BBC Sport.  

ASCOT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Queen Elizabeth II waits in the parade ring at Ascot racecourse on October 19, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Last year's St Leger winner, Leading Light, and Brown Panther are currently tipped to beat Estimate, but it is sure to be a race of the highest quality.

The only Group 1 race on Friday is the Coronation Stakes, but it is one of the week's most open encounters with various fillies in with a chance, including My Titania, Veda and English and Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder.

Finally, Saturday closes the meeting with some cracking racing, including the frantic six-furlong sprint, the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.     

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 21:  General view of racegoers  during day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2013 in Ascot, England.  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

A large field makes for quite a spectacle and the possibility of a long-odds winner—last year 11-1 shot Lethal Force took the victory. The favourites for this year's race include Slade Power, Aljamaaheer and Gordon Lord Byron.

Royal Ascot 2014 provides five days of racing and 30 high-quality encounters that should bring out the usual thrills and upsets, elation and disappointment for trainers, jockeys, owners and punters alike.

Arguably the greatest Flat meeting in the world, Ascot never disappoints, and this year will be no different.