There are two Ascot Racecourses around the world. The first Ascot Racecourse is Royal Ascot located in the UK which hosts flat racing during the summer season in Britain. The second Ascot Racecourse is that of Ascot Races in Western Australia which hosts the Ascot Racing Carnival for the state.
Ascot Racecourse in Western Australia is located 8 kilometres outside of the WA capital Perth and is the headquarters to the Perth Racing Club which was formerly known as the Western Australian Racing Club.
Location: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Western Australia
Main Track Circumference: 2,000 metres
Length of home straight: 300 metres
Races: 1000m - 2400m
Overview Of Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse is one of the premier tracks in Australia and along with Belmont Park is one of the two leading track in Western Australia.
Ascot races take place all year round with Ascot Racecourse hosting racing across key metropolitan races days as well as featuring the Ascot Racing Carnival in the WA Spring. Most runners coming off the back of the Spring Carnival in Victoria will head onward to WA for the chance to win further Black Type titles before a spell.
Racing at Ascot Perth is a far flung from the pomp and circumstance of Royal Ascot in the UK however it does attract international gallopers on their way home the aforementioned Flemington Racing Carnival each year.
Races such as the Kingston Town Classic and Winterbottom Stakes are key to the Ascot racing Calendar for drawing in a high calibre talent from at home and abroad in November and December of each year.
Considered the Grand Old Lady of Aussie racecourses the first Ascot racing results can be traced back to 1848.
Ascot Racecourse Details
The Ascot Racecourse is a circumference of 2022m and races take place on a turf surface with one of the best drainage systems in the country. Racing takes place on the Ascot track in an anti clockwise direction following the path South Australian and Victorian racehorses follow.
With a relatively short straight of just 294 metres it is an interesting finish for runners who need an extremely big tank to get over the line first due to the slight incline from the 400m mark to the finishing post.
The incline although small can find out even the best of runners due to the continuous climb going round the final band and all the way up the home straight.
Ascot races take place over distances between 1000 and 2400 metres with even the Perth Cup taking place over 2400m compared with other state cups traditionally taking place over 3200m.
When Ascot hosts its annual racing carnival it features 4 Group 1 races with over $2 million in prize money available. The carnival runs deep into December with Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes for $250,000 usually run the second or third week of December.
Racing at the Ascot course dates back over 150 years with several of its Group and Listed races tracking there heritage back to the late 19th century.
History Of Ascot Racecourse
The history of Perth’s Ascot Racecourse is fast approaching a 200 year milestone with racing origins of the Western Australian race track going back to 1848.
It was recorded that in 1848 a race meeting was held on J.W. Hardys Grove Farm located alongside the Swan River just outside Perth. This became the permanent location of Ascot Racecourse as we know it today.
A short time later in 1852 the governing body of the Western Australian Turf Club was created and from then on controlled racing at the Ascot with its first official race meeting held in 1853.
In order to increase attendances and improve racing access the WATC along with investors in the state built a railway to the racecourse from the city. Work was completed in 1987 when a station was built next to the course.
Much later down the line the governing body would be transitioned into the Perth Racing Club which would continue ownership of the Ascot Racecourse as well as the Belmont Park Racecourse.
The head office for the Perth Racing Club is now located opposite Ascot Racecourse in the Lee-Steere House, named after former Chairman Ernest Augustus Lee-Steere and his son Sir Ernest Lee-Steere who also went on to be Lord Mayor of Perth. The naming was in recognition of their services to the WATC between 1919 and 1984.
Racing at Ascot has also has a rich history with several of its Group races having over 100 years of history attached. Races such as the Perth Cup, The Winterbottom Stakes and The WATC Derby all can track results back to 1888.
Racing History At Ascot Racecourse
Although Ascot races takes place all year round the key time for high calibre racing is during the spring and summer months where the Ascot Spring Carnival takes place across December and February.
During these two months of the year Ascot plays host to 12 Group races including 3 Group 1 races with over $3.5m in prize money available for entrants. It may not compare to the riches of Sydney and Melbourne but it does trump South Australia and Queensland (excluding Magic Millions) in terms of prize money available during a carnival.
The other Group 1 hosted in Western Australia is the WATC derby which is held in April of each year over 2400m at set weight conditions. Prize money for the race is $500,000 and the history of the race dates back as far as 1888.
Formerly known as the Western Australian Derby the inaugural running of the race back in 1888 was won by Harridan who started the race at even money and won by 2 lengths. The winner on that day took home prize money of 100 Sovereigns with second place receiving 2 Sovereigns.
Originally run as part of the Summer Carnival the WATC Derby was transferred to April IN 1988 before being moved back to summer in 1993 and then back to April again in 2002. One of the winners in it’s more recent calendar spot was Regal Power who won the race in 2019.
Having its inaugural running at Ascot Racecourse just a year earlier was the 1887 running of the Railway Stakes, originally a Principal Grade race over 2000m. It was run on the same day as the Perth Cup and attracted huge bets of up to 60 Sovereigns at the time. (Impressive if you consider the prize for the Derby was 100 sovereigns at the time).
Recorded Ascot race results have Nimrod as the first ever winner of the race beating Hermit on the day. It would be Hermit who would come back better in the second go winning the race next time around.
Ascot racing today sees the Railway Stakes holding a prize purse over $1,000,000 for entrants with Regal Power again being the most recent winner. The Grant and Alana Williams stable have had a stranglehold on the cup having won 3 of the past 4 editions of the race.
More recent Group 1 races added to the Ascot racing calendar have been the Winterbottom Stakes and the Kingston Town Classic which both attract home and international runners each year vying for a chance to win the $1,000,000 in prize money.
Prize money for the Winterbottom Stakes was increased to $1m in 2015 after it was upgraded from a Group 2 to a Group 1 race in 2011. The race itself has seen a fair overhaul since it’s inaugural running in 1952 originally being run over 1400m until the distance was reduced in 1994 to a sprint race over 1200m.
There have been a few recognisable winners of the Winterbottom Stakes with the likes of Buffering and Ortensia winning the race twice as well as Takedown and Voodoo Lad winning in more recent years. Probably one of the most famous winners was Takeover Target who won the race in 2008.
Arguably one of the most famous races held at Ascot Racecourse the Kingston Town Classic was first run in 1976 but named after the champ when he was inducted into the Western Australian Racing Hall Of Fame in 2007.
At the time Kingston Town won the Western Mail Classic in 1982. The race was also known as the Marlboro 50,000, Rothwells Stakes, Winfield Stakes, Beat Diabetes 2 Stakes and Fruit and Veg Stakes before finally settling on Kingston Town in 07.
Kingston Town won the race in 1982 and other famous winners have included Vo Rogue in 1988, Snipers Bullet in 2009 before more recently it was won by multiple Group 1 winner Arcadia Queen.
With such a high pedigree of racing and racing history on show. Huge crowds attend each year and have the chance to take in not only these races but the like of the Ted Van Heemst Stakes, Perth Cup and Prince Of Wales Stakes which all give local and visiting runners a chance to win Black Type races before the end of the calendar year.
A Day Out At Ascot Racecourse
Steeped in history and with excellent facilities Ascot Races offer something for everyone. With a two tiered grandstand, shaded seating all over the course and hospitality facilities available it doesn’t matter if you’re a racing enthusiast, having a family day out or a trip to the course with your mates, Ascot has something for everyone.
There is easy access to the course and the track itself is always in a premium condition with a world class drainage system allowing racing to continue all year.
With excellent views of the track Ascot is a great day out for everyone.
Transport To Ascot Racecourse
Attending by bus: A shuttle bus service is available from Belmont Station direct to the track. There are also several bus routes that go near the track which are best researching before travelling.
Attending by train: The nearest train station is Belmont Train station which offers a free shuttle to the course.
Attending by car: There are 6 public car parks near the course that provide easy walking routes to the entrance to the track. Gates 1,2,5,6 offer public carparks and entrance where as 3 and 4 offer members only parking.
Attending by taxi: Taxi service is available to and from the racecourse from taxi ranks.
Betting At Ascot Races
Although an elderly course betting facilities at Ascot are second to none with a host of local bookmaker options available in the betting ring located near the main grandstand. These offer punters a chance to place a cash bet and hold their ticket for a chance to win big.
A second option is to utilise the many WA TAB facilities on course. Known as TABtouch in the west there are several terminals and betting desks that can take a wager. These offer both cash and card options however cash is generally preferred for speed when people are trying to get a last minute wager on.
Finally and driven by the beauty of technology there are a range of bookmaker apps available to download and use before heading to the track. Check out the functionality and offers available before you go as they all offer something different for your betting needs.
Corporate Facilities At Ascot Racecourse
The Grandstand at Ascot Racecourse offers something for everyone and accommodates for all budgets. Ascot race days offer a range of restaurants, bars and casual dining options that customers can purchase as well as a number of private function spaces for bigger events.
If you are looking for a dining option you could perhaps try the Flying Colours or Terrace restaurants when attending a big saturday race day at Ascot. There are also picnic or midweek dining options available too.
For those looking for a more causal feel there are also a number of bars at Ascot races including the Mumm Chandelier Bar, The Trophy Room and the Kirin Pavilion Bar. A bit more niche there is a Sports Bar, Ice Creamery and a Gin Parlour offering something different.
Ascot Racecourse also offers a huge range of private function areas including the SuperBox which gives the best view of the finishing post and offers facilities for 20 to 26 customers to have an ultimate race day experience.
Recommended Members Dress Code At Ascot Racecourse
As listed on the Perth Racing Club website, members are expected to dress to the standard of the course this means that:
For the ladies racewear may include:
Hats and fedoras, fascinators, headpieces including headbands, turbans and headscarves
Elegant racewear including dresses, pantsuits, jumpsuits and culottes
Wedges, heels or flats - comfortable for a day on the grass or indoors
Smart casual and tailored denim is also permitted in general admission areas
For gents racewear can include::
Suits - tie optional
Jackets and trousers or tailored shorts to the knee
Smart casual and tailored denim is also permitted
Ascot Barrier Guide
1000 metres: Shortest start on course, takes runners round the home turn before entering the straight. Inside barrier draws have an advantage
1100 metres: Much like the 1000m start just 100m back. Inside barrier draws have an advantage
1400 metres: Begins in the 1500m chute on the far side of the course. Inside barrier draws have a slight advantage
1500 metres: Located in a shoot which drives straight into a turn before the back straight. Inside barrier draws have a slight advantage
1600 metres: Another chute start which sits off the long turn before turning to the back of the course Inside barrier draws have an advantage
1800 metres: Starts just after the finishing post and takes runners round two turns before entering the home straight. Inside barrier draws are an advantage.
Contact Details For Ascot Racecourse (Perth Racing Club)
PO Box 222,
Ph. (08) 9277 0777
Fax (08) 9277 0710
One of the great Australian racecourses steeped in nearly 200 years of history. Although maybe slightly detached from the Eastern Carnivals the Perth Racing Carnival is no less prominent.
Having the likes of the Winterbottom, Railway and Ted Van Heemst Stakes gives the middle distance and sprinters real challenges from interstate and international raiders. For the further distances the Perth Cup and WATC Derby offer the stayers a real chance to impress.
We recommend a visit to Ascot Racecourse at any time of the year with a high calibre of racing and race day facilities enough to create an excellent day at the races.