Ascot Racecourse Has Been a Pillar of British Sporting and Social Culture Since 1711

By CTH Editors

4 months ago

Ascot Racecourse is a Great British Brand 2024

Ascot Racecourse is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Ascot Racecourse: A Great British Brand 2024

Horses racing

‘We’re fantastically lucky at Ascot as our job is to ensure that the half a million people who come racing here every year have a great time. That’s not a bad job. Customer service is the thing that has always set us apart. Excellence is what people have come to expect of Ascot.

Racing is an international sport nowadays; at Royal Ascot in 2023 we had runners from France, Norway, America, Australia, Hong Kong and Ireland. This is partly the result of globalisation, which has affected most other industries, but also of the fact that the science surrounding the physical effects of transporting horses across seasons and time zones is now much better understood.

Ascot’s finances are more complicated than they used to be. We derive our income from a variety of sources: media rights, sponsorship, boxes and hospitality, attendance numbers, and the betting levy. Sponsorship can be an asset beyond the purely financial: take, for example, our relationship with the watchmaker Longines, which allows us to provide revolutionary tracking and stride-by-stride data comparing the performance of horses in running.

We work constantly to improve what we do: in 2022 we introduced the “Racing to Zero” initiative setting out our plans to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2040. AI and technology generally will be really important in improving our systems and processes and in understanding our customers better but it’s the human interaction that makes what we offer special. It’s the human factor that makes Ascot so memorable.

For example, on the Thursday of Royal Ascot 2023, Their Majesties’ horse, Desert Hero, bred by Queen Elizabeth II, won at the King’s first Royal Meeting as monarch. An hour later, Frankie Dettori, an Ascot hero, won the Gold Cup. That’s a human connection that cannot be artificially replicated.’

Alastair Warwick, CEO

People dressed up in stands cheering

Five Proudest Moments

  1. In 1711 Queen Anne sees potential for a racecourse at Eastcote – later Ascot – declaring it an ideal place for horses ’to gallop at full stretch’.
  2. Gay Kelleway makes history in 1987 as the first female jockey to win at Royal Ascot, riding Sprowston Boy to victory in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
  3. Frankie Dettori rides the ‘Magnificent Seven’ on 28 September 1996, winning all seven races at Ascot, a historic milestone in horse racing.
  4. The Royal Ascot Racing Club celebrates a famous victory when Motivator wins the 2005 Derby, the first syndicate-owned horse to win the Epsom Classic.
  5. Following the coronation in 2023, Their Majesties the King and Queen delighted crowds by attending all five days of Royal Ascot.

What I’ve Learnt

  • The importance of our brand values of being elegant, uplifting, and original, known collectively as the ‘Ascot Way’.
  • The importance of Ascot’s rich heritage and the enduring significance of preserving age-old customs such as the Royal Procession.
  • That sustainability matters now, more than ever before: I’m acutely aware of the critical importance of social responsibility.


High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JX

+44 (0)344 346 3600