Ascot Racecourse has announced that a Royal Ascot Leading Owner Trophy will be awarded next week.
The competition will run alongside the established equivalents for jockeys and trainers. Those two awards are both kindly sponsored by QIPCO.
Like the established jockeys and trainers awards, the champion owner over the week will be decided on straight wins, with seconds, thirds (etc) only coming into play in the event of a tie for wins.
With the agreement of Coolmore, the operation will be regarded as one entity regardless of the precise ownership make up of any given horse or the colours they run in.
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the ROA, welcomed the new initiative:
“Royal Ascot is one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings of the flat racing calendar and captures the imagination of horsemen both in the UK and overseas. The recognition of the part that owners play in the week long spectacle through the award of a leading owner trophy is very much welcome and it will be keenly contested.”
The eight Group One races at Royal Ascot are all QIPCO British Champions Series races and this year, the stable staff leading up the horses for those events will be provided with QIPCO British Champions Series gilets, all of which will carry the owners' colours on the front.
Other changes to the racing operation at Royal Ascot next week relate to the change in conditions to the Queen's Vase.
The Queen's Vase has been promoted to Group Two from Listed status this year and the trip reduced from two miles to a mile-and-three-quarters.
The race, on Friday, will be run as race five on the card, switching places with the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap which becomes race six.
“We're very much looking forward to the Royal Meeting next week, with fields shaping well including a record turnout from the United States,” said Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Communications at Ascot.
“The promotion of the Queen's Vase to Group Two brings the number of Pattern races at the meeting to 19, of which eight are Group Ones. We're delighted to be staging an owners championship this year, following on from the initiative launched last year to stage a lunch for the winning breeders of the 30 Royal Ascot races on the Friday of the King George Meeting. We will of course be repeating that and presenting them all with commemorative Strawberry Dishes.”
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