Strange times indeed. That horses would run 36 races all alone in the equestrian event of the year, no one could have foreseen at the beginning of 2020. Royal Ascot is the favourite public engagement in the whole year for the Queen of the United Kingdom, and not only for her. The five-day horse race is one of the most important British fashion and society gatherings that attracts some 300.000 visitors. Alas, this part had to be sacrificed in favour of public health and security this time. No public will be allowed, but the races will be televized. The sport part was thus saved and part of the business related to it, as you can find out exploring betfred Royal Ascot offers, that are alive and kicking right now. Horse racing is an industry that moves large sums of money and employs armies of people. No wonder that a big effort has been put in keeping Royal Ascot alive, albeit behind closed doors.
There is no social stigma attached to earning money with horse racing, quite the contrary. A lesser known fact is that Queen Elizabeth herself has earned a lofty $14,598,273 from the victories of her own racehorses in the last thirty years. There have been as many as 534 victories of the Queen’s horses, from 3205 runs in both flat and jump races in the UK and Ireland. Royal Ascot alone was worth over seven million pounds in prices in 2019, that is about 9.6 million dollars. On that occasion, the horse that ran with the Monarch’s colors was Eightsome Reel, a bay colt foaled on March 21st, 2016.
At Royal Ascot 2019, Eightsome Reel secured a dignified fourth place out of 13 competitors. Nothing spectacular maybe, but the interesting part is that it was actually his worst result since his maiden race in November 2018, when he won a first place in Wolverhampton. The spring of 2019 brought him a third, first and second place at the races in Newmarket and Ripon. All in all, a promising colt. One more royal trivial, about the horse’s name: Queen Elizabeth loves dancing eightsome reels, a Scottish traditional dance, at Balmoral Castle, one of her residences in Scotland. A rare video from 1990 has surfaced on the Internet, portraying the Monarch while she enjoyes twirling at the sound of music with the whole royal family, during Ghillies Ball. One more tradition that she is adamant about, the Ball a private party that she organizes every summer for her Scottish neighbours and the staff of Balmoral.
In these recent times of crisis and discomfort, the British people have been appreciating the psychological stability offered to them by their Queen more than ever. They love the way she sticks to tradition, because these little details become even more important when everything else seem to be so shaky. Elizabeth II opening the races at Royal Ascot every day with the royal procession rising in landaus will be sorely missed, in the week of June 16-20. This is why a full package of six additional races has been added, to console the lovers of horse racing. The new format is now seven races a day Tuesday to Friday, and eight more races on the final day, on Saturday 20th.