Ascot Racecourse has introduced a number of measures to ensure this year’s Royal Ascot goes ahead with minimal trouble as its showpiece event gets underway today (Tuesday).

In a bid to clamp down on the number of alcohol-fuelled disturbances, Ascot has introduced sniffer dogs at the venue’s entrance, according to The Guardian.

Other measures include the threat of a breath test for racegoers who are, or look, drunk when they arrive. Mobile beer hawkers have also been removed ahead of this year’s meeting, which is set to attract around 300,000 spectators.

In other news, Ascot has upgraded its partnership with long-term sponsor, Swiss watchmaker Longines.

The two parties first teamed up in 2007, and Longines has now become an official partner of the venue, while continuing to serve as its official timekeeper.

The deal grants Longines exposure during ITV’s coverage of Royal Ascot, along with an enhanced presence at the venue next to existing official partners, Qipco and Gigaset.

Longines’ logo will feature on the Grandstand, and permanent on-course and off-course branding will also be provided throughout the year.

Each official partner has a day during Royal Ascot where their brand receives an elevated profile, with tomorrow (Wednesday) set to be Longines’. The company will also continue as the official watch of Royal Ascot, which this year runs until Saturday.

Juan-Carlos Capelli, vice-president and head of international marketing of Longines, said: “Royal Ascot is known worldwide as one of the most prestigious and stylish sporting events on the calendar, with over 300 years of rich history behind it.

“This enhanced partnership, which sees our brand become an official partner of the racecourse, is therefore a perfect vehicle for the promotion of the Longines values – namely tradition, elegance and performance – values which both organisations share.”

Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Ascot, added: “We are delighted that Longines are further deepening their relationship with Ascot as our official partner, joining Qipco and Gigaset.

“We have worked with Longines closely for over 10 years as our official timekeeper and watch and now are very excited to be the showcase venue for their world class timing system which we look forward to launching this year. We are proud to be able to showcase the Longines brand, which reflects our values.”

Image: JohnArmagh