A progressive independent commercial business, created by Act of Parliament. Our portfolio includes the whole of Regent Street and much of St James’s in London’s West End, prime regional shopping centres, Windsor Great Park, rural land and coastline, and the UK’s seabed.
Few sporting venues can match the rich heritage and history of Ascot Racecourse. Over the past 300 years, Ascot has established itself as a national institution; with Royal Ascot becoming the centrepiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world.
It was Queen Anne in 1711 that first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot (in those days called East Cote). Whilst out riding near Windsor Castle she came upon an area of open heath that looked, in her words, “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch”. The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place later that year, on Saturday 11 August. The inaugural event was Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas and open to any horse, mare or gelding over six years of age. Each horse was required to carry a weight of 12 stone and the seven runners were all English Hunters, rather different to the speedy thoroughbreds that race on the flat today. Queen Anne's gift to racing, founding the Royal Racecourse, is marked by the tradition of opening Royal Ascot with the Queen Anne Stakes.
There have already been several historical landmarks in the short period since Ascot Racecourse reopened in 2006 and none more memorable than the four timer of Gold Cup wins by Yeats, culminating in remarkable scenes after his final victory in 2009. In 2011, Ascot celebrated its tercentenary and staged the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day, now the climax to the European flat racing season.