How Park House Stables near Newbury prepared its race horses for Royal Ascot

  • Presenter Matt Teale spent the day with horse trainer Andrew Balding

There is always plenty of pomp, pageantry and protocol associated with Royal Ascot but it is - first and foremost - a sporting event with some of the best horses and jockeys in the world on show.

And behind the horses are some of the world's best trainers.

Andrew Balding runs Park House Stables in Kingsclere near Newbury where there are 260 elite equine athletes.

Mr Balding said: "For the British trainers I think it's the most important meeting of the year.

"It's got a worldwide audience, if you're a race horse trainer in Britain it's one of the main weeks of the whole year."

Ahead of Royal Ascot, Mr Balding was constantly assessing and monitoring the horses to get them into peak racing condition at exactly the right time.

Paul Spickett owns Berkshire Shadow who has won races at Ascot before.

He said: "Royal Ascot means everything. It's every owners dream to go to and have a horse racing there.

"How do I feel every time, round about the start of June is when we start getting a bit jittery about what we're doing.

"We're all optimists all owners and we always think or hope we're going to win."

The first day of Royal Ascot kicked off today with the King and Queen in attendance.

The event will see more than 300,000 racegoers across the five day event which runs from 20 to 24 June.