Your Guide To Ascot Race Day

Whether you’re a seasoned regular or a first timer, we’ve got some tips for the big day. Including, of course, how to nail that all-important dress code and how to get that first bet right. 

Royal Ascot started over 300 years ago, in 1711, when Queen Anne saw an open stretch of heath and said it looked ‘ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch’. That Royal suggestion was all it took, apparently, as now Ascot is the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Spread over five days in June, Ascot is one of the biggest events of the British social season and is perhaps best known for the impressive ensembles of the guests.


  Sam, wearing the more formal of looks for Ascot. Our Lemon Double Breasted Waistcoat, a Morning coat and Charcoal Pinstripe Formal Trousers.


Pictured wearing Sir Plus

Snapped. SP fan Ali wearing our best selling Mist Doubled Breasted Waistcoat. 


You’ve probably heard a lot about the different dress codes, but it wouldn’t be Ascot without those exuberant outfits. Unless you’ve nabbed a golden ticket for the Royal Enclosure, beyond wearing a suit there are no strict rules so now is the time to go for it with what you wear. While the dress codes can get confusing and the faux pas run even deeper, the best way to abide by the rules is to embrace them.


The Grey Fox Blogger - In Sir Plus

David from The Grey Fox blog, pictured above wearing our Grey Double Breasted Waistcoat. He has gone for the full formal dress with top hat to finish.


This year we’ve paired up with Oli Bell, a well-known horseracing presenter, who will be wearing his favourite Sir Plus pieces over the course of Ascot. Earlier this month, Oli came down to our Bethnal Green studio to pick out three outfits that were best suited for the racecourse. We’ve heard that loud colours are discouraged at Ascot, for instance, however pastels and pale colours are ubiquitous for shirts and waistcoats. Oli has chosen the Grey, Lemon and Azure Blue Double Breasted Waistcoats. Like Oli choose a linen option for the warmer weather in June, however Ascot is famously known for displaying all 4 seasons over the 5 days. Waistcoats are typically mismatched with your suit in complimenting colours, so don’t be afraid to experiment or try something new. Houndstooth is prevalent at this event too, so to pair with his Waistcoats, Oli has gone for the Wool Houndstooth Trousers in Charcoal, Navy and Brown. All three of these trousers have internal buttons in case you fancy strapping on a pair of braces, it is Ascot after all, so why not go for it? View the full Formal Wear collection here.  


Oli Bell Reporting For ITV at Ascot

Oli Bell reporting at the Epsom Debery Day race course with Francesca Cumani. Sporting our new in Pale Pink Waistcoat and Navy Houndstooth Trousers.


Azure Blue Double Breasted Waistcoat

Pictured above is the Azure Blue Double Breasted Waistcoat which Oli has chosen along with the Charcoal Houndstooth Trousers


Time for some top betting tips now. Or at least our best advice to turn that casual flutter into something, hopefully, worth more than a few rounds at the bar. Starting with your stake, which is how much you want to bet. The minimum stake is £2 – which does handily lend itself for a few test bets. Next are the odds, which is how much you’ll win calculated by how much you bet and what type of bet you placed. All dependent on whether your horse actually wins of course. It’s time to place your bets, here’s how:

  1. Look through the Ascot Racecard, the Racing Post or any national newspaper to strategically select the horse you fancy. Or if all else fails, pick the horse with the best name, any takers for ‘Mean Butterbean’?
  2. Decide if you want to bet ‘To Win’ (the horse has to finish first) or ‘Each Way’ (the horse must be placed, finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th). Each way is twice the price but you’ve got a higher chance of having that winning ticket.
  3. Choose from the 3 different ways to place a bet at Ascot: the Tote, Betting Shops or the Betting Ring.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to win, gallop your receipt back to your bookmaker and claim those glorious winnings. If you don’t happen to win this time, its neigh bother.

We’ve also got an exclusive tip off for you. Now we aren’t saying this is a sure-fire winner, but our man on the inside said to look out for ‘Endless Acres’ at the Albany Stakes race. We aren’t promising anything but who knows what will happen on the day. So fasten your Sir Plus waistcoat, eat a big breakfast and place those bets. If you’re still not sure who the winning horse is, take our earlier advice: Mean Butterbean it is!


Ascot Betting Glossary: 

Each Way

A bet that contains two wagers, giving you two chances to win. The first is for the selection to win, and the second is for the selection to the placed (come in second, third, or fourth – depending on how many horses are in the race).


The horse considered most likely to win, and therefore having the shortest or lowest odd. Pick the favourite and you’ll be running back to the bookies.


A bet that involves correctly predicting the first and second past the post in a race.


The past performances of a horse, used to give an indication of its current chances. Keep an eye on form when selecting your bets.


A method of placing weights under jockeys’ saddles to even up the chances for every horse in the field, making the race as competitive as possible.


Now this one you will have heard of. It’s the potential winnings offered by a bookmaker, based on their view of the horse’s chance of winning.


When a horse is strongly fancied, the odds are less than evens. For example, a horse may be quoted at ‘2-to-1’, or ½. This means that for every £2 you put on the horse, you will get £1 back plus your stake.

Starting Price or ‘SP’

Unless you state otherwise, all bets with betting shop bookmakers are settled at the Starting Price (SP). Bets placed in the ring will be settled at the fixed odds that are displayed at the time the bet is struck. The SP is the average price in the betting ring as the race starts.


The amount of money you place on a bet.

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