Time off - Event

Ascot Festival

Like horses? Hate hats? Then Ascot Festival - September's ever-so- slightly-less-pretentious alternative to Royal Ascot - could be for you.

Set in the mint-green environs of moneyed Berkshire, the festival, which offers some of the biggest prize money in the country, provides three days of racing combined with a beer festival and a kiddies' area, making it the perfect weekend trip for families or their boozy toddlers.

The action comes in three parts: the Watership Down Stud Sales race on the Friday, which stands to provoke more tears than the movie for any young pretender who loses out on the pound;250,000 prize money; the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on the Saturday (Europe's top mile race for those nerdy enough to know); and on the Sunday, the snappily-titled Group Two John Guest Diadem Stakes, where pound;90,000 is up for grabs for one lucky horse and its jockey.

Will they be blowing their prize money at the onsite beer festival? Let's hope so. Drunken horse racing - now that's something to watch.

The Ascot Festival runs from Friday September 26-28.

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