01/04/2006 1:00AM

Royal Ascot ticket line besieged


Demand for tickets to Royal Ascot, from June 20-24, has been so heavy that track officials have been unable to cope with requests. Tickets for the meeting went on sale via telephone and the Internet on Tuesday, but the number of requests was so great most applicants could not get through.

Ascot's public relations director, Nick Smith, said that once a few glitches were ironed out "everyone would be able to buy tickets."

The reason for the extraordinary demand is the new $350 million grandstand Ascot is unveiling this year. Grandstand tickets for the first two days of the royal meeting are priced at $95. Tickets for the third day, Ladies Day, cost $105, with Friday and Saturday tickets $101. Reserved seats are $35 to $44.

Reservations can be made at www.ascot.co.uk.