Royal Ascot to take place behind closed doors if they race

So Royal Ascot will be held behind closed doors, if it goes ahead.  We have already seen the  cancellations of Wimbledon and The Open Golf Championship and Ascot are perhaps clutching at straws hoping the big Summer meeting can go ahead.

Sadly I am not convinced it will go ahead, as much as I hope it does, and lets be honest it simply won't be the same behind closed doors and there will be no foreign raiders that's for sure!

Chief executive Guy Henderson issued a statement outlining plans for the track to stage the famous meeting behind closed doors between 16th - 20th June. The statement on the Royal Ascot sites reads: 


For public health and safety reasons we have reached the difficult but unavoidable conclusion that Royal Ascot 2020 (Tuesday 16th - Saturday 20th June) will not be able to take place as an event open to the public. This will of course be a great disappointment for everyone planning to attend.  

It may prove possible to run the Royal Ascot races behind closed doors, dependent on Government and public health policy and the approval of the BHA for us to re-start racing. This would be for the benefit of the industry, our valued partners and suppliers and our television audiences at home and internationally. Planning for this is now our complete focus and we will update on progress as and when we can.

Customers who have already paid for entry and hospitality at Royal Ascot will be refunded in full in the usual way as quickly as possible and we will start the process of communicating with them, initially by email, immediately. We thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding in completing this substantial task given the challenging practical circumstances of the current national lockdown.

The pandemic will have a significant financial impact on our business in 2020, along with so many others. Nevertheless, Ascot racecourse will come through this crisis and we look forward to being able to welcome racegoers back when it is safe to do so.

Meanwhile, our thoughts are with all those grieving and suffering as a result of COVID-19. We offer heartfelt thanks to our wonderful NHS staff, key workers and volunteers for all their selfless dedication.  

Guy Henderson
Chief Executive
Ascot Racecourse
7th April 2020

Please note, we kindly ask that customers do not contact the racecourse. We will contact all bookers for both Royal Ascot and the May Racing Weekend with details of the refund process.