Your Guide to Betting on the 2018 Royal Ascot Festival

As the name of this festival suggests, Royal Ascot is a regal affair and is graced by the presence of Queen Elizabeth II each year. In what has been a tradition since the 1820s, the UK monarch arrives at Ascot at the beginning of each race day drawn by the Royal Carriage. It is arguably the most ‘traditional’ of all British horse racing festivals and has been a multi-day festival since 1749!

The trouble with analysing this festival is the sheer quantity of incredible races. There are seven Group One events alone, so I have decided to focus on three of the best races scheduled for the 2018 Royal Ascot.

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Gold Cup

Thursday 21 June

Although it takes place on day three of the festival, the Ascot Gold Cup remains the highlight of the week and is one of the biggest races in the British racing calendar. At 2m 3f and 210 yards, it is a classic test of stamina which was first run in 1807 when Master Jackey won it.

It is the first race in the Stayer’s Triple Crown (along with the Goodwood Cup and Doncaster Cup). The feat is seldom attempted and hasn’t been achieved since Double Trigger in 1995. Yeats is the most successful Gold Cup horse with four successive victories from 2006 to 2009.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2014Leading Light10/11
2015Trip to Paris12/1
2016Order of St George10/11
2017Big Orange5/1

Betting Trends and Information

There are 9 confirmed entries for the big race with 2016 winner Order of St George installed as joint 7/4 favourite with Stradivarius. Vazirabad is next at 9/2 with the rest of the field at 8/1+.

  • 17/21 winners finished in the top 3 in their previous race.
  • 19/21 winners were aged 4-6.
  • 13/21 winners were in the top 2 in the betting market.
  • 17/21 winners last ran 16-60 days before the race.
  • 19/21 winners had 0-2 season runs.

Recent history favours fancied Gold Cup horses and on paper it appears to be a two-horse race. Indeed, six of the nine horses are available at 8/1+ and it is hard to make a case for any of them. Vazirabad is probably the only realistic contender. If Order of St George runs at his best, he wins the race. However, he has been beaten several times at odds-on so punters are right to be wary. Even so, 15/8 looks like value!

Ascot Gold Cup Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Order of St George7/47/47/4
Desert Skyline12/112/112/1
Max Dynamite25/122/125/1
Mount Moriah40/140/140/1

Coronation Stakes

Friday 22 June

This is a race for 3yo fillies that takes place over 7f 213 yards. It was established in 1840 to commemorate the 1838 coronation of Queen Victoria. It was promoted to Group 1 status in 1988 and normally features fillies that ran in the UK or Irish versions of the 1,000 Guineas. Winter notably won both races in 2017 before triumphing in the Coronation Stakes.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Sky Lantern9/2

Betting Trends and Information

There are 13 runners at the time of writing and in what promises to be an extremely competitive race, Alpha Centauri and Clemmie are joint-favourites at around 10/3 – 7/2 with Billesdon Brook next at 9/2. Teppal is the fourth favourite at 11/2 and the rest of the field is 10/1+.

  • 13/21 winners were in the first 2 in the betting market.
  • 15/21 winners last ran 16-60 days before the race.
  • 19/21 winners had 0-2 season runs.
  • 15/21 winners had an OR of 108+.

If you like the OR trend, it narrows the list of contenders down to just seven including the top five in the betting market. Billesdon Brook shocked the world by winning the 1,000 Guineas and while she commands respect, it is hard to see the unremarkable filly spring another surprise. The Aidan O’Brien trained Clemmie missed the 1,000 Guineas and is certainly a contender.

Coronation Stakes Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Alpha Centauri10/37/27/2
Billesdon Brook5/19/211/2
Coeur De Beaute10/19/110/1
Capla Temptress11/112/112/1
Could It Be Love14/116/116/1
Anna Nerium20/118/120/1
Aim Of Artemis33/125/133/1

Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Saturday 23 June

This is a fast and furious six-furlong sprint open to all 4yo+ horses. It was first run in 1868 and was initially a Group 3 race in 1971 when the grading system was introduced. It was upgraded to Group 2 status in 1998 and achieved the coveted Group 1 accolade in 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Ten years later, it was renamed to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Lester Piggott has ten wins in this race to go with his incredible 11 Gold Cup wins!

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Lethal Force11/1
2014Slade Power7/2
2016Twilight Son7/2
2017The Tin Man9/2

Betting Trends and Information

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes had 18 confirmed runners at the time of writing with Harry Angel as the 5/2 favourite. Merchant Navy is next in the betting market at 7/2 with the rest of the field 5/1+.

  • 11/21 winners have been drawn in stall 3, 4 or 6.
  • 20/21 winners won at odds of 5/2 or more.
  • 20/21 winners were aged 6 or less.
  • 11/21 winners came from outside the top 5 in the betting market.
  • 18/21 winners last ran 1-60 days before the race.
  • 19/21 winners had 0-2 season runs.

It is worth waiting for the draw because horses in stalls 3, 4 and 6 have an excellent recent record. While it isn’t enough to rule out a favourite, a good draw for one of the fancied horses could see its odds cut even further.

In a race known for producing long odds winners, it is worth looking down the field for value. If the ground is firm, the talented Limato is interesting at 16/1. Amongst the principals, Harry Angel was one of the sprinting sensations of 2017 and will be hard to beat at his best. Australian entry Redkirk Warrior has a good chance at 5/1 (even though his age may count against him) while last year’s winner, The Tin Man also warrants respect and could be a value wager at 8/1.

Diamond Jubilee Odds

 Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Harry AngelN/A5/25/2
Merchant Navy7/27/27/2
Redkirk Warrior5/111/26/1
Blue Point6/113/26/1
The Tin Man9/110/110/1
Bound For Nowhere10/110/110/1
Librisa Breeze12/112/112/1
City Light14/112/116/1
Spirit Of Valor25/125/125/1
Gifted Master33/128/125/1
Washington DC33/133/133/1
Sir Dancealot33/133/125/1
Dream Of Dreams50/150/150/1
Donjuan Triumphant50/150/150/1
Intelligence Cross100/1100/1100/1