PUNTERS will not be able to buy tickets for this year's Royal Ascot because the 4,000 capacity crowd will be restricted to owners, hospitality and racecourse members.
No general admission tickets will go on sale for the 2021 showpiece, in a crushing blow to fans everywhere.
Ascot bosses had hoped to welcome 10,000 racegoers, in line with government guidelines on the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
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And there is a small chance the fixture could yet be used as part of a pilot scheme for fans.
But bosses have decided, for now, to plough ahead with plans for just 4,000, meaning the Berkshire track will be off-limits for most when racing starts on June 15.
And instead only racegoers who fall under those permitted in will get to watch the top horses in action.
The plans were confirmed in a statement on Ascot's website and in a letter to members written by Sir Francis Brooke, the Queen's representative.
It read: "In accordance with step three of the government’s road map, the total maximum capacity for racegoers on all racecourses at this time remains at 4,000 per day.
"There remains the possibility of a larger crowd but, with just a month to go until Royal Ascot, we now need to begin the process to allocate our current permitted capacity.
"It is most regrettable that so many members will be disappointed and I thank you in advance for your understanding, given that the restrictions are beyond Ascot’s control."
Ascot will take place over five days, ending on June 19.
It is one of the showpiece events of the racing season and famed for punters wearing their best gear and enjoying top class action under the summer sun.
Royal Ascot took place behind closed doors last year due to the Covid pandemic.
Hopes had been high for a return to normality this year, and there was talk of pushing the meet back a week to fall in line with the end to legal limits on Covid restrictions on June 21.
But circumstances have unfortunately meant the 4,000 limit will remain in place, with attendance restricted.
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