The principal race is that for the Ascot Gold Cup, instituted in 1807.
Complaints are often raised about the cruelty of what is called tame stag hunting, and it became a special subject of criticism that a pack should still be kept at the Royal kennels at Ascot (it was abolished in 1901) and hunted by the Master of the Buckhounds; but it is the constant endeavour of all masters and hunt servants to prevent the infliction of any injury on the deer.
The race-course is on Ascot Heath, and was laid out by order of Queen Anne in 1711, and on the 11th of August in that year the first meeting was held and attended by the queen.
A rare example of a peaceful setting within easy reach of London, Ascot is an idyllic town that charms at a gentle canter.
On a wet, windy and thoroughly miserable Friday I decide to meet a couple of friends at Ascot.