Blurred Rachorse There are many mid-summer highlights in the flat racing calendar, from Chester to Royal Ascot and on to Glorious Goodwood. It is Newmarket which is the traditional home of British flat racing though and sandwiched in between that lot is the excellent three day July Meeting staged in early July each year.

Royal Ascot ends as it began…with a bang. In terms of top class global sprint contests, races don’t come any bigger or better than the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. As ever contenders from around the globe will travel to Berkshire to tackle the best of Britain and Ireland in the closing day’s feature Group 1.

Three of Friday’s six contests are fillies-only affairs and top of the pile is the Coronation Stakes which each year helps us work out which of the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas form carries the most weight.

Always one of the post popular days of the festival, the Thursday at Royal Ascot sees the fairer sex take things to another level in the fashion stakes as it is ladies’ day at the track. Always a splendid site, the stands never look so glamourous as they do on the day where the racing action is headed by the staying marathon of the Gold Cup.

Following the full throttle nature of the opening day, Royal Ascot takes its foot off the gas on the second day, but only a little. Just the one Group 1 on offer today, but we do have three Group 2’s, a Group 3 and one of the week’s biggest betting heats.

Whether you are making your way down to Berkshire in your top hat and tails (or dress) or simply tuning in on the tv, the racing action from Royal Ascot this coming week is simply not to be missed. Ascot have shaken things up a little this year in terms of which races are run on which days and the running order. They are only minor tweaks to a near perfect festival though, and whichever order you put them in these are 30 of the most anticipated flat racing contests of the calendar year.

This coming Saturday sees what is for many Flat racing fans the biggest and best day of racing in the whole year. The main focus will of course be on the Derby itself. The ultimate test of speed, stamina and balance, it is no surprise that this is the single most influential Flat race in the world when it comes to future breeding value. In terms of prestige, nothing tops the Epsom Derby.

This coming weekend sees the two most famous classics of the British season take place as Epsom plays host to the Oaks and the Derby. The action kicks off on Friday as the always well attended Ladies’ Day opens the meeting.

On to the third and concluding day of this excellent Dante meeting at York and the action continues apace. The highlight of the day is one of the top early season staying contests of the year: the Yorkshire Cup.

This Thursday sees the action on the Knavesmire kick up a gear as the Dante meeting moves into its second day. The headline contest is of course the race which gives its name to the whole meeting, the key Derby Trial of the Dante Stakes itself. Always a pointer towards future Group race success, the 2018 edition looks as intriguing as ever.