Since its launch in 1998, the Royal Ascot Racing Club has been acknowledged throughout the racing world for its unsurpassed facilities, service and dining experience, a bastion of sociability and style, with superb benefits, wonderful facilities, and a devotion to the exceptional. Exclusive, extraordinary, and endless fun, the Royal Ascot Racing Club, affectionately known as RARC, invites you to a truly unparalleled experience.
Offering Members and their guests unparalleled style and comfort at one of the world’s premier racecourses, this is much more than a racing club. Access to some of the world’s finest racing at Ascot’s twenty-six racedays is provided to Members, who also benefit from the Club’s ownership of meticulously selected thoroughbred racehorses.
Members have an interest in up to six horses, which run in the Club’s white and dark blue colours. With purchase cost, training and all racing expenses included in the annual subscription, enjoyment provided by the Club horses is risk-free and offers a truly exciting alternative to traditional racing ownership. Prize money net of trainer, jockey and stable shares, and profit on the sale of horses, is distributed to Members.
Here The Hon Harry Herbert, RARC’s Racing Manager, tells us more about the history, traditions and facilities of this most exclusive of clubrooms.
• How would you describe a day in the Clubrooms?
The most comfortable and spoiling way to enjoy the best racing at the world’s most glamorous racecourse with the finest view in the house.
• Describe RARC in three words.
Exclusive, exciting, unique.
• The Club have had their share of successes over the years, could you name some moments that stand out to you in particular?
Motivator winning the Derby in 2005. The first Club owned winner of this the world’s greatest race. Revenue winning the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Bannister winning the Gimcrack (Gr2) at York.
• How do you go about choosing the horses that will run in the Club’s colours, and who they will go into training with?
We buy the horses to a strict budget set by Ascot at any of the principal yearling sales. John and Jake Warren select the horses and their success for the Club has been remarkable. Twenty percent of all horses bought for RARC have won or been placed in Group or listed races. The Club employs the best trainers for their horses.
• With regards to the horses, the Club have some exciting prospects for 2023 and beyond, what might the Club Members be able to look forward to with the current crop?
We think that we have a very exciting two-year-old called Cavalry Call trained by Ed and Simon Crisford. He could start in April and we hope that he might be good enough to run at the Royal Meeting.
• What can members expect from the ownership experience with the Royal Ascot Racing Club?
Regular updates and videos and an opportunity to attend stable visits wherever their horses are trained. In Newmarket members can stay in the magnificent and historic Jockey Club Rooms. and enjoy a delicious dinner before heading out to the gallops the next morning to see their horses. Members can see their horses race and can always apply for owners’ badges through the Highclere office.
• What has been your proudest moment since being involved with the RARC?
Watching my favourite horse, Motivator, win the 2005 Derby.
• Some of the current Members have been with the Club since its inception in 1998. What do you think has kept them so invested over the years?
The amazing combination of the comfort of the Club Rooms, the service and friendly welcome, the outstanding champagne, wines and food and the thrill of watching the Club’s racehorses develop and race. There is also a real camaraderie between Members.
• In your opinion, what makes the Club stand out amongst other racehorse ownership experiences?
Enjoying the fabulous comfort and impeccable service on race day in a stunning private room whilst watching some of the world’s greatest racehorses compete.
• A day in the Clubrooms is undoubtedly very special, but Members also get the opportunity to meet up outside of racedays and experience other events. This must be very well received by the Members?
Yes, Members are given a number of exclusive events to attend which have included a private visit to Coolmore Stud in Ireland as well as a trip to the Arc in Paris, wine tasting events, specially curated Members-only events at venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, and much more.
• Membership includes a wide range of benefits, but what would you say are the main draws of becoming a Member?
The ability to be in such a fabulous private area on one of the great racecourse of the world. To know that as a Member you can be comfortable at Royal Ascot enjoying the best food and wine as well as the watching racing from the best place outside of the Royal Box – now, that is as good as it gets.
• What would you say to any prospective Members, with a passion for racehorse ownership and top-class facilities, who are interested in joining the Club?
Don’t hesitate to become a Member. This is the best Racing Club in the world and the envy of every other racecourse!
• Aside from Ascot, which racecourses do you like visiting most with RARC runners?
I love Newbury where I am a director but also Goodwood and York are big favourites of mine and are fabulous places to have a runner!
• Is there one race you haven’t yet won with the RARC that you want to win?
Any race at the Royal Meeting or a race on Champions Day in October, although winning any race at Ascot in front of the Members creates unbelievable scenes of joy, both in the Club rooms and in the unsaddling enclosure.
• If you could pick one jockey to ride for the RARC who would you choose and why?
Frankie Dettori – as you can imagine is a big favourite, as is Ryan Moore, as both ride Ascot brilliantly. We always look to use the best available though, and if it’s one of the two I mentioned in a big race then everyone gets an even bigger thrill.
For more information on the Royal Ascot Racing Club, please contact Michelle Atkinson, Ascot’s Head of Memberships, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01344 878032.