Royal Ascot kicks off on Tuesday and it promises to be another incredible spectacle. The best week of flat action each year, there are 35 races in total, so there will be no shortage of fantastic battles throughout the week.
Eight of those races are Group 1 contests, with the best of the best attracted from around Europe. Don’t forget America too, as they’re also represented! While looking through the statistics, it’s become increasingly obvious that backing the shorter-priced runners is the way to go in the feature races at Royal Ascot. That can be backed up by one crucial statistic, which you can find below!
On the big occasions, the best rise to the challenge. That can be evidenced by Frankie Dettori, who always turns up to the premier events and rides plenty of winners. Royal Ascot is the pinnacle of flat racing and as such, the best horses, trainers and jockeys are always in attendance.
In the last 40 Group 1 races at Royal Ascot, 33 have been won by a horse sent off 6-1 or shorter. Those “classier” horses at the front of the market, more often than not, come out on top. Upsets do happen, with Accidental Agent’s 33-1 victory on day one of 2018 a prime example. That being said, the best of Europe and America converge on Ascot this week, and underperformances are rare at the top of the market, as the statistics suggest.
To illustrate that statistic, you only have to look back at last year’s results:
- Queen Anne Stakes – Circus Maximus (4-1f)
- King’s Stand – Battaash (5-6f)
- Prince Of Wales’s Stakes – Lord North (5-1)
- Gold Cup – Stradivarius (4-5f)
- Commonwealth Cup – Golden Horde (5-1)
- Coronation Stakes – Alpine Star (9-2)
- St James’s Palace – Palace Pier (4-1)
- Diamond Jubilee – Hello Youmzain (4/1)
In all eight Group 1 races last year, the biggest starting price of the winner was a measly 5-1. Another thing to note, is that it was the bigger stables that swept all of the Group 1 races. Feel good stories are what make racing so special, but victories for the “smaller” stables at the top table on Royal Ascot week aren’t common.
Despite a lack of upsets, we aren’t saying you should just blindly back the favourites! If the trends are anything to go by, then look for a horse at 6-1 or shorter who isn’t necessarily the market leader. It’s certainly been profitable to do so in recent years.
Royal Ascot favourites
The week starts off with a very short price favourite in Palace Pier. Although a general price of 4-9 is extremely short, he ultimately warrants it and is currently the best miler in Europe, as many have prophesised him as. If you’re looking to oppose a favourite, he’s perhaps not the one to take aim at.
Stradivarius is the other odds-on shot of the week, and plenty are wanting to oppose him. If he was to win the race for a fourth successive year, he’d equal the feat of Yeats, who completed the four-timer back in 2009. From my point of view, however, he’s certainly not a false favourite. He looked better than ever when landing the Sagaro on return and his main rivals all have something to prove. Ascot is his turf, and I wouldn’t want to be opposing him for the sake of it come Thursday.