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Watching Royal Ascot

Ascot is a tradition, so we thought you might see the point of a traditional post repeated and updated.

According to Stephen Pollard of the Spectator, the first step in watching Ascot is to refuse to attend. This is a must if you prefer horses to clotheshorses, as Stephen does. He prefers to watch Ascot on television, Channel 415, At The Races. Presumably he pours himself something to drink, and if he is in his morning suit, it is not the one gentlemen are accustomed to wear in the Royal Enclosure.

The place was different when Queen Anne hunted in Windsor Forest, and discovered for herself the open heathland so perfect for "horses to gallop at full stretch". In 1711 the first meet at Ascot competed for Her Majesty’s Plate, which was worth 100 guineas.The seven runners were English hunters which held up through three heats, each four miles long.

Three hundred years later the "finest racehorses on the planet" are at Ascot and on Pollard's TV. For those charmed by hats, Ascot has a good selection. The sunshine on the first day of the meet seems to be traditional. Wind and rain on the second day are optional.

Looking at photos while privately grieving the Lisbon Treaty, I noticed that the trainers, men and women, had strong, passionate faces.

Here is the Australian thoroughbred Haradasun taking the Queen Anne Stakes with the breathless announcer adding considerably to the excitement -

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