Royal Ascot 2018: A guide on making the most of it
Royal Ascot is undoubtedly one of the finest race meetings staged anywhere in the world, bursting with pageantry, fashion and top class thoroughbreds. The meeting is attended by 300,000 people over the five days and is televised in over 150 countries worldwide. Whilst it is certainly a highlight of the British social calendar, it always helps if you can win a few pounds off the bookmaker along the way.
Class is king at Royal Ascot
Bookmakers are already speculating on the colour of the Queen’s hat before the meeting begins but the real stars are of course the horses. There are 35 races over the five days at Royal Ascot, the majority of which are Group or Listed races. These races bring together the finest horses in their respective division, usually racing at level weights. It is therefore not surprising that over half of the races run at Royal Ascot are won by horses who are listed among the top three favourites by the experts.
There will still be the occasional longer priced winner but these are usually reserved for the meeting’s competitive handicap races. The point is underlined by an average starting price of around 16-1 for the eight handicap races compared to only 5-1 for the Group races.
Course form valuable at Ascot
Ascot is one of the fairest tracks in the country, a draw bias only really coming into play in extreme conditions. However, the old saying “horses for courses” is not entirely without merit. Statistics show that horses with previous course victories produce a good percentage of winners at the Royal meeting. It also pays to note horses that have been placed in the same race previously. It is highly likely that a return visit has been chalked in on their schedule ever since.
Aidan O’Brien the man to follow
Favoured by horse racing tipsters, leading Irish Trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled more than fifty winners at Royal Ascot. He set a new record for the meeting when training seven winners in 2016. With six winners in 2017, it is not difficult to see why so many of his horses start favourite. Because of the competitive nature of the meeting, backing all of his fancied runners can still yield a profit.
Trainers for races
Sir Michael Stoute is joint all-time leading trainer alongside the late Sir Henry Cecil with 75 winners. Ten of those have come in the Hardwicke Stakes so whatever he runs in that race is worth a second look. Mark Johnston excels with young stayers and has won the Queen’s Vase on seven occasions. Be wary of backing International raiders at Royal Ascot. They do not have a great record at this meeting with the exception of American trainer Wesley Ward who targets the two-year-old races.
Take advantage of the special offers by bookmakers during Royal Ascot week. There will be fierce competition to attract new customers as well as trying to keep their existing customers happy. Some firms will offer the big race favourite at greatly enhanced odds to new customers (to a limited stake). This is a great way to start your new account in credit.
Keep a look out for offers to existing customers on a daily basis and make sure that you take an early price. Most bookmakers now offer a best price guarantee so that, should the returned price be greater than yours, you still get paid out at the higher odds. Above all, try and beat the odds only with what you can afford to lose and enjoy one of the greatest spectacles that British sport has to offer.
The editorial unit