The Saturday of Royal Ascot is the fifth and final day of this iconic racing event. While it may mark the end of the week’s festivities, the Saturday is far from a dull affair, with a thrilling line-up of races and entertainment options to keep attendees engaged until the very end.
The highlight of the day is the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, which attracts some of the world’s top sprinters and is one of the most prestigious races on the flat racing calendar. But that’s not all, with the day also featuring four other Group races, including the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
There’s no doubt that the Saturday of Royal Ascot is a day for serious racing enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities to see top-class horses in action. But it’s not just about the racing, with the Saturday also offering plenty of other entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. There are food and drink stalls serving up delicious treats, as well as a range of activities and attractions designed to keep the whole family entertained.
Whether you’re looking to relax in one of the many gardens and picnic areas or take part in some of the more lively entertainment options, there’s something for everyone on the Saturday of Royal Ascot.
While the races may not go off at the exact time indicated the race summaries below give you the key details about each race. If you want to know more about any particular race click on the race name to see a dedicated race page.
Race 1 - Chesham Stakes - 14:30
- Distance: 7f (1408m)
The Chesham Stakes is run on the straight over seven furlongs and is limited to horses aged two. Age isn't the only criteria for the participants, however. In addition to only being two, they also need to have been sired by a stallion that has previously won a race run over one mile and two furlongs or longer. Lester Piggott won the race seven times as a jockey between 1960 and 1982, with Ryan Moore having won it five times between 2011 and 2021, with other jockeys also having won the race several times over the years. Aidan O'Brien is the most successful trainer of modern times with six wins.
The weight information for the race is nine stone and three pounds, whilst fillies get an allowance of five pounds. If a horse has previously won a Group race then they get a penalty of five pounds, whilst Listed race winners receive a three pound penalty. The race was originally run over five furlongs, being extended to six furlongs for a period before the seven furlong length was introduced in 1996. When it came in in 1919, it was a replacement for the first leg of the Triennial Stakes. Nowadays, the race is the opening race for the final day of the Royal Ascot meeting.
- Horse - Snellen (12/1)
- Jockey - Gary Carroll
- Trainer - Gavin Cromwell (IRE)
- Overall Prize Money - £90,310
- For The Winner - £56,710
Race 2 - Jersey Stakes - 15:05
- Distance: 7f (1408m)
At Royal Ascot, the Jersey Stakes, a Group 3 race, presents an exciting display of young talent. Open to three-year-olds of any gender, this sprint spans seven furlongs, ensuring a rapid spectacle. With a rich history dating back to 1919, the race honours the fourth Earl of Jersey, who once held the esteemed title of Master of the Buckhounds. Legendary jockeys Lester Piggott and Sir Gordon Richards each boast six victories in the event. The race takes place on the final day of Royal Ascot, crowning an exhilarating week of flat racing action.
The race came into existence as a replacement for the second-leg of the Triennial Stakes, which was a series of races designed to test horses with each passing year. The race has specific weight conditions in place, which are nine stone and one pound, with fillies given a three pounds allowance. Previous winners of Group 1 and Group 2 races face a penalty of five pounds, whilst those that have won a Group 3 event take on a penalty of three pounds. The race’s most successful trainer is Sir Michael Stoute, who trained the winner on six separate occasions during his career, with his first win coming in 1977 and his last in 2018.
- Horse - Age Of Kings (22/1)
- Jockey - Wayne Lordan
- Trainer - Aidan O'Brien (IRE)
- Overall Prize Money - £147,555
- For The Winner - £85,065
Race 3 - Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes - 15:40
- Distance: 6f (1207m)
The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes is a Group 1 race with a long-standing heritage tracing back to 1868. It is open exclusively to horses aged four and above, excluding three-year-olds born in the southern hemisphere who are allowed to take part in the race. Spanning a distance of six furlongs, the race imposes a weight requirement of nine stone and three pounds, granting a three-pound allowance to fillies and mares. Throughout its illustrious past, the race has undergone multiple name changes, each commemorating the jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II.
Originally named the All-Aged Stakes, it later transformed into the Cork and Orrery Stakes.
In subsequent years, it was rechristened as the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2002, followed by the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012 and eventually assumed its current title, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, in 2023 after the passing of Elizabeth II. The race has borne witness to exceptional performances from remarkable runners such as Prince Charlie, who achieved a remarkable streak of consecutive victories, and Right Boy, the most recent back-to-back winner. Lester Piggott is the race’s most successful win, thanks to seven victories during his career.
- Horse - Khaadem (80/1)
- Jockey - Jamie Spencer
- Trainer - Charles Hills (GB)
- Overall Prize Money - £983,700
- For The Winner - £567,100
Race 4 - Hardwicke Stakes - 16:20
- Distance: 1m 3f 211y (2406m)
The Hardwicke Stakes welcomes horses aged four and above, providing the opportunity for repeat participation; a rarity among the races at this prestigious meeting. Tristan boasts three successive victories from 1882 to 1884, etching his name in the annals of racing history. As a key form guide, the Hardwicke Stakes often hints at what’s to come in the illustrious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The correlation is evident from previous examples, with Harbinger emerging victorious in both events in 2010. Legendary jockeys Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery share the limelight as they boast an impressive seven victories each between 1955 and 1985 and from 1975 to 1998, respectively.
The Hardwicke Stakes is a captivating Group 2 horse race that brings together the best of flat racing at Royal Ascot. What sets this race apart is its inclusion of horses aged four and over, offering a fascinating twist in a predominantly youth-focused racing week. The challenge is open to all genders, with a weight requirement of nine stone and one pound, whilst fillies and mares enjoy a three-pound allowance. Dating back to 1879, the Hardwicke Stakes is named after the esteemed Master of the Buckhounds, the fifth Earl of Hardwicke. Racing enthusiasts are treated to a thrilling contest over one mile, three furlongs and 211 yards, unfolding on Ascot’s right-handed course.
- Horse - Pyledriver (7/2)
- Jockey - P. J. McDonald
- Trainer - William Muir & Chris Grassick (GB)
- Overall Prize Money - £245,925
- For The Winner - £141,775
Race 5 - Wokingham Stakes - 17:00
- Distance: 6f (1207m)
If you would like a race in which a horse with relatively long odds is more likely to win than one starting the event as a favourite then the Wokingham Stakes will provide you with exactly that. Between 1980 and 2023, the race took place 44 times and the Starting Price favourite won on eight occasions, whilst horses priced at 20/1 or higher won 18 times. That might have something to do with this being a handicap event, asking the official handicapper to assign the weight that each horse will carry and sometimes getting their judgement wrong on that front, allowing for surprise winners.
It is one of the highlights of the handicap sprint events that are run during the flat racing season, sitting alongside the likes of the Ayr Gold Cup and the Stewards' Cup as being races to watch on that front. Run over six furlongs on the straight, it is open to horses aged three and over and it is fair to say that horses of all ages have managed to make it home the quickest over the years. Having begun life in 1813 as an event that was split into two or three separate classes, it has been run as the one single race since 1874 and as many as five horses have won it back-to-back since then.
- Horse - Saint Lawrence (22/1)
- Jockey - Hollie Doyle
- Trainer - Archie Watson (GB)
- Overall Prize Money - £172,148
- For The Winner - £90,195
Race 6 - Golden Gate Stakes - 17:35
- Distance: 1m1f 212y (2206m)
When the members of the Royal Family are brought onto Ascot Racecourse for the start of each day of racing, their journey begins at the Golden Gate. That is enough of a tangential link to the Royals for a race at the Royal Ascot meeting to be named after it, with this particular event being open to horses aged three. In order to take part they will need to have an official rating of between 0 and 105, with the official handicapper using that along with the horse's form to decide what weight the horse should carry for the event. The better their rating, the more weight they'll have.
During the first four years of the Golden Gate Stakes taking place, the favourite only won once. That is worth bearing in mind when you're weighing up your bets to place. Another thing that you can think about is the fact that the higher stalls offered more winners than the lower ones during those first four races. No trainer nor jockey was able to win the race more than once during those initial four years, whilst obviously no horse could on account of the fact that the can't take part in it once they turn four. Two of the first four winners were given odds of 20/1 by the bookmakers.
- Horse - Burdett Road (20/1)
- Jockey - Neil Callan
- Trainer - Michael Ball (GB)
- Overall Prize Money - £98,370
- For The Winner - £51,540
Race 7 - Queen Alexandra Stakes - 18:10
- Distance: 2m 5f 143y (4355m)
The Queen Alexandra Stakes is for horses aged four and over, with the weight information that is at play depending on the age of the horse, their gender and any previous success that they've enjoyed. It is run over two miles, five furlongs and 143 yards, making it the longest flat handicap race in the United Kingdom. It was the longest in the world until it was overtaken by the Jericho Cup, which is run at Warrnambool in Australia. Its status as the final race of Royal Ascot means that some horses that ran in the Ascot Stakes on day one of the meeting have run in this in the same year.
The fact that it is such a long race means that it is not uncommon for the field to be extremely varied, with a lot of the entrants coming from the world of National Hunt racing. In fact, one of the event's most successful ever trainer is Willie Mullins, who is much better known as a jump racing trainer than a flat racing one. Ryan Moore won the race more time than any other jockey between its creation and the 2023 renewal, whilst Brown Jack holds the record for more wins thanks to successive victories on six occasions between 1929 and 1934, cementing his place in the record books.
- Horse - Dawn Rising (2/1)
- Jockey - Ryan Moore
- Trainer - Joseph O'Brien (IRE)
- Overall Prize Money - £98,370
- For The Winner - £54,000
What To Expect On Day Five of Royal Ascot
The fashion remains a key part of the day’s proceedings, with the dress code being slightly more relaxed than earlier in the week. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still an emphasis on dressing up and looking your best. Attendees are encouraged to don their finest outfits and hats, creating a sea of colour and style around the racecourse.
For those that find themselves in the Royal Enclosure, the strict protocol of previous days remains in place, so you can’t let your hair down to an amount that might be considered to be inappropriate by those in attendance.
As far as the racing is concerned, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes always offers a tremendous amount of excitement on the course. In 2019, for example, Blue Point became the first horse since Choisir to win both the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, as it was known then, and the King’s Stand in the same season.
That isn’t to say that those that aren’t all that interested in the racing are going to be disappointed, of course. The Royal Family will still have representatives there to be gawked at, plus there’s the chance to spot an occasional celebrity or two.
The relaxed nature of the day does mean that life away from the course itself is a little bit friendlier for those that aren’t all that interested in the racing. The atmosphere is a touch more social than during the other days, with people beginning to realise that the week is coming to an end.
The fact that it is a Saturday also means that people are likely to feel a touch demob happy after a week in work, making it to Berkshire for one of the finest events in the flat racing calendar. It is still Royal Ascot with all of the things that come with that, just a little less uptight than other days.
As the final day of Royal Ascot, the Saturday is a bittersweet affair, with a sense of both celebration and sadness in the air. But one thing’s for sure, which is that it’s a day that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
With top-class racing, delicious food and drink and a lively atmosphere, the Saturday of Royal Ascot is the perfect way to bring the week to a close, and bid farewell to one of the most exciting racing events in the world.
Just because one meeting is over doesn’t mean that everyone moves on though, with all eyes quickly turning to when Berkshire will play host to it all again a year later.