Nick Smith

Ascot's Nick Smith Receives New Year Honours

Ascot's director of racing and public affairs, Nick Smith, has been named to the New Year's Honours list. Smith, who started at Ascot in 2000, was made a lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, which rewards personal service to the monarch and their household. In 2023, King Charles III and Queen Camilla celebrated their first Royal Ascot winner with Desert Hero (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who would subsequently be Classic placed in the G1 St Leger. Other highlights of Ascot's year include Hukum (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and...

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Imperatriz Tops Royal Ascot Wishlist

Representatives from Ascot have made star New Zealand mare Imperatriz (Aus) (I Am Invincible {Aus}) the top of their wishlist for the Royal Ascot meeting in June next year. Nick Smith, Ascot's Director of Racing and Public Affairs, said he believes Te Akau Racing's crown jewel would be perfect for either the G1 King's Stand S. or the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee S. "She's showing a lot of consistency and that's what you want with travelling horses," Smith commented. "A lot of the horses that have one good run...

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Ascot Racecourse to Host TIEA Awards, Chamberlin Returns to Host

Ascot Racecourse will host the 20th anniversary celebration of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, set to be held on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. ITV Racing's Ed Chamberlin will host the festivities for the first time since 2020. The awards, sponsored by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and by Godolphin, honours and celebrates the skill, passion and dedication of the remarkable individuals who care for the horses. There are six award categories--Leadership Award, Dedication Award, Rider/Racing Groom Award, Stud Staff Award, Community Award (in recognition of Rory MacDonald), and David Nicholson...

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Record Prize Money of £17M at Ascot in 2023

Ascot Racecourse announced total prize money will be a record £17 million across 25 racedays in 2023, an increase of £1.33 million (8.5%) from 2022. The overall figure excludes the industry-owned QIPCO British Champions Day. Prize money for Royal Ascot 2023 will also be a record £9.52 million, up from £8.65 million (10%). All Group 1 races will be run for a minimum of £600,000 for the first time with increases to the King's Stand S., St James's Palace S., Gold Cup, Coronation S. and Commonwealth Cup (all £500,000 in...

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HKJC World First Aims To Enhance Global Participation

In two frustrating and financially damaging racing seasons for Ascot, there has at least been a glimmer of light gleaned from its decision in 2019 to become involved with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the UK Tote in launching the World Pool. In that debut year, £92 million was bet into the World Pool on racing at Royal Ascot. Amid an unthinkably torrid 2020 season, in which the Royal meeting was staged behind closed doors, that figure rose to £137 million. It improved again this year: four of...

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Provision Made For Champions Day Course Switch

A provision has been made that will allow officials to move races on the round course to the inner track at Ascot on British Champions Day should the ground have 'heavy' in the going description at morning inspection. The previous rule stated that the inner course, which is normally used only for jumps races, could only be considered in an abandonment situation. The course will be inspected by Clerk of the Course Chris Stickels as per usual on the morning of the race. If he gives "heavy" in the going...

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Armed Forces Announced as Official Charities for Royal Ascot

The three principal single Service Armed Forces charities--the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers' Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund, are the official nominated charity partners for Royal Ascot 2021. Traditionally, the charities have been supported and promoted on the penultimate day of racing at the Royal meeting, with more than £20,000 raised from bucket collections alone on the Friday. This year, they will have a presence across all five days of the meeting in an attempt to raise funds, which have been impacted by the COVID-19...

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King George Purse Set At £400,000

The G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot on July 25 will be worth £400,000. Minimum prize money for a Group 1 in Britain post lockdown has been £250,000. Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot, said, "With the deeply appreciated support of our Official Partner and race sponsor, QIPCO, we will be running this year's King George at £400,000. In doing so, we are maintaining our policy of contributing significant executive contribution to our flagship races which began with £1.7-million being added across...

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Shergar Cup Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

The 2020 Dubai Shergar Cup at Ascot has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, Racing TV reported. Originally scheduled for Aug. 8, the four-team jockey competition played host to some of the world's best riders, but with the current travel restrictions, as well as crowds at sporting events being prohibited, Ascot decided to call off the 2020 event. "Regrettably, given the complexities of flying jockeys around the world and uncertainty over what government regulations will be in place at the time, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup won't take place...

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