Royal Ascot Betting Tips - 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd June 2019

There are many racing festivals held throughout the year – but none quite like Royal Ascot. Nowhere else is the day’s racing preceded by all the pomp and pageantry of a Royal procession; and no other British race meeting attracts anything like the international attention as the magnificent five days that is the Royal Ascot meeting.

Britain’s richest race meeting annually attracts the best of the best from these shores and beyond, and is perhaps the only horse racing event of the year where the fashion stakes in the stands are almost as high as those placed on the week’s contenders. Highlights come thick and fast in Berkshire, and here we take a look at what each of the five days of stellar equine action has in store.

About Royal Ascot

Ascot Grandstand and Crowd
Royal Ascot (Troxx / commons.wikimedia.org)

Few venues are as intrinsically linked to a sport as Ascot is to horse racing. In England, only the likes of Lords and the cricket and Twickenham and rugby have the same sort of connection, with even Wembley Stadium being used for American football enough to mean that it isn’t solely thought of as a footballing venue any more. Despite hosting twenty-six days of racing throughout the year, including British Champions Day, there is one horse racing event more than any other that is the thought of when Ascot Racecourse is mentioned.

The course is situated just six miles from Windsor Castle, which might help to explain why the British Royal Family and Ascot enjoy such a close relationship. The fact that Queen Anne founded the place in 1711 will also be a big help, of course. Royal Ascot is one of the best-known flat racing events anywhere in the world, with members of the Royal Family regularly attending during the five days of racing. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious events for socialites in the UK.

Royal Ascot Race List

There's few if any meetings that can match Ascot for quality and they pack as much as possible into each of the five days of action. The full race list for the meeting is shown in the table below.

RacePrize MoneyAges
Day One
Queen Anne Stakes £600,000 4 Years Old +
Coventry Stakes £150,000 2 Years Old
King's Stand Stakes £500,000 3 Years Old +
St James's Palace Stakes £538,750 3 Year Old Colts
Ascot Stakes £90,000 4 Years Old +
Wolferton Stakes £100,000 4 Years Old +
Day Two
Queen Mary Stakes £110,000 2 Year Old Fillies
Queen's Vase £225,000 3 Years Old
Prince Of Wales's Stakes £750,000 4 Years Old +
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes £175,000 4 Years Old +
Royal Hunt Cup £175,000 3 Years Old +
Windsor Castle Stakes £90,000 2 Years Old
Day Three
Norfolk Stakes £100,000 2 Years Old
Hampton Court Stakes £90,000 3 Years Old
Ribblesdale Stakes £200,000 3 Year Old Fillies
Gold Cup £500,000 4 Years Old +
Britannia Stakes £120,000 3 Year Old Colts & Geldings
King George V Stakes £90,000 3 Years Old
Day Four
Albany Stakes £90,000 2 Year Old Fillies
King Edward VII Stakes £225,000 3 Year Old Colts & Geldings
Commonwealth Cup £500,000 3 Years Old
Coronation Stakes £500,000 3 Year Old Fillies
Sandringham Stakes £90,000 3 Year Old Fillies
Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes £90,000 3 Years Old+
Day Five
Chesham Stakes £90,000 2 Years Old
Jersey Stakes £90,000 3 Years Old
Hardwicke Cup £225,000 4 Years Old+
Diamond Jubilee Stakes £600,000 4 Years Old+
Wokingham Stakes £175,000 3 Years Old+
Queen Alexandra Stakes £90,000 4 Years Old+

Royal Ascot Meeting Overview

Whilst plenty of off-field antics are worthy of mention at Royal Ascot, such as the procession for the Queen’s arrival and the dress code at the Royal Enclosure, there’s little doubt that the racing itself is where the real action is at.

The racecourse might well have to cope with the visit of more than three hundred thousand racegoers during the five days, but it’s the eighteen Group races that they’re mostly all interested in. With at least one Group 1 race each day, there’s plenty for attendees to get excited about and for people watching from home to want to know more about.

Few events in sport have the sense of occasion that is offered by the opening day of Royal Ascot. When the clock strikes two the Royal Procession begins, seeing four Windsor grey horses lead the group in a ceremony that is as British as they come.

The day features three different Group 1 races, with the Queen Anne Stakes being considered by many to be the pick of the lot.

Day two of Royal Ascot is considered by many to be the gentlest of the days, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting from a racing point of view. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the meeting’s richest race and is arguably the entire meeting’s most important race.

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the only Group 1 race on day two, which is why it’s considered to be less frantic than the other days of the meeting. There are still plenty of races to get your blood pumping though.

Officially known as Gold Cup Day but referred to by most people as Ladies Day, day three of Royal Ascot is when the fashionistas get to show off their wares on a day that’s as much about what’s happening off the course as on it.

That’s perhaps reflected somewhat in the level of races, with the day following day two in only offering one Group 1 race. It is an incredible race, though, so much so that it gives its name to the day, which is no surprise when you consider that almost all eyes will be on the Gold Cup once it gets underway.

The penultimate day of Royal Ascot sees the atmosphere hit new heights as the weekend revellers get involved. Given that guests are permitted to bring their own alcohol, it’s no real surprise that things start to get a little bit more party atmosphere as the races are run and Saturday grows ever closer.

Day four sees two more Group 1 races run in the form of the Commonwealth Cup and the Coronation Stakes. It’s a fantastic day of racing that the attendees get really involved in watching.

The final day of Royal Ascot sees the top-class racing continue, not least of all with the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. You’ll find that this is also a day that has more of a family atmosphere, with children’s tickets for sale on the day itself.

The fact that it’s a Saturday means that racegoers really are up for a great time, so the atmosphere on the final day reaches new heights. The enclosures at the course sell out fast, so make sure that you’re looking well ahead of time if you’re hoping to be in one of them.

Group 1 Races in Detail

As you can imagine, the entirety of Royal Ascot is filled with historic races that are very much worthy of your attention. Each and every one of them has a story to tell, but if we wrote about them all in detail then you’d be here all week reading about them.

Instead we’re going to break them down into race-type, ensuring that you find out as much as is relevant for each one. If you want to read about a specific race then skip ahead to the bracket that it fits in and you’ll find it there.

It goes without saying that the only place to start when it comes to talking about Royal Ascot is by looking at the Group 1 races. There are eight of them, meaning that there are plenty of chances for you to enjoy some of the very best races in the sport. Here’s a look at each of them in more detail:

Queen Anne Stakes

Royal Ascot’s traditional curtain-opener was established in 1840 when it was known as the Trial Stakes. It was open to horses aged three and over but that was raised to four in 2003. Here’s the weight is nine stone, with a three pound allowances for fillies and mares and one pound for four-year-olds from the southern hemisphere.

Run over one mile on the straight, the race was given its current name in honour of Ascot’s founder, Queen Anne, in 1930. When the classification for racing came in in 1971 it was a Group 3 race, promoted to Group 2 in 1984. Its shift to Group 1 came in 2003 when the minimum age for entrants changed from three to four. Four horses have won the race more than once, with Flambeau winning the race’s first two runnings in succession.

King’s Stand Stakes

It’s rare for races to benefit from bad weather, but that’s exactly what happened with the King’s Stand Stakes. In 1860 torrential rain meant that the Royal Stand Plate couldn’t be run over its usual distance of two miles, resulting in it being run on the only suitable part of the course. This new race was called the Queen’s Stand Stakes and was considered to be the most important sprint at Royal Ascot. It gained its current name when King Edward VII took to the throne following Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.

The race was a Group 1 offering the moment that the classification came into effect, but it was downgraded to Group 2 in 1988. It was made part of the Global Sprint Challenge in 2005, which resulted in many high-quality horses from abroad being entered into it, which in turn led to its return back to Group 1 in 2008. There’s some weight information that you might want to know:

  • 3-year-olds: 8 stone 12 pounds
  • 4-year-olds and over: 9 stone 4 pounds
  • Fillies and mares receive a 3 pound allowance

Run over five furlongs on the straight, the horse is open to horses aged three and over. Numerous horses have won the race twice, but it’s never been won more than two times by any of the horses entered into the race.

St James’ Palace Stakes

Named after the royal palace of the Tudor period, the race was first run in 1834 when it was a walkover because only one horse entered the race. Run over seven furlongs and two hundred and thirteen yards, the race is open to three-year-old colts with a weight of nine stone.

When the racing grading was introduced in 1971 this was a Group 2 offering, moved up to Group 1 seventeen years later. Horses that have previously run in the likes of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and the 2,000 Guineas are often entered into this race. Obviously the age restriction means that no horse has ever won it more than once, but Michael Kinane has as a jockey, crossing the finish line first six times in his career.

Prince of Wales's Stakes

Open to horses aged four and up with a weight of nine stone, this races gives fillies, mares and four-year-olds from the southern Hemisphere a three pound allowance. It’s run right-handed over a distance of one mile, one furlong and two hundred and twelve yards. When it was first run it was run over one mile and five furlongs and restricted to three-year-olds.

Inaugurated in 1862, the race was named after the then-Prince of Wales, the man who would go on to become King Edward VII. In the wake of World War II there was no Prince of Wales, so the race was discontinued until 1968. When it came back and was named in honour of Prince Charles it had its current distance and was for three-year-olds and up.

When the current grading was introduced it was a Group 2 offering, being promoted to Group 1 in 2000. That was also when the minimum age increased to mean that it was open to four-year-olds and up. Three horses have won the race twice, with Connaught being the first to achieve it when he won back-to-back races in 1969 and 1970.

Gold Cup

Not to be mistaken with the famous race that takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse every March, this is the most important race in Britain for stayers. It’s run over two miles, three furlongs and two hundred and ten yards and is for horses aged four and over. Here’s a look at the weight information:

  • 4-year-olds: 9 stone 1 pound
  • 5-year-olds and over: 9 stone 2 pounds
  • Fillies and mares receive a 3 pound allowance
  • 4-year-olds from the southern hemisphere receive an allowance of 10 pounds

The Gold Cup has enjoyed a famous audience from the moment that it was inaugurated in 1807, being run as it was in front of King George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1844 the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas I, was in England on a state visit and attended Ascot, with the winner of the race actually being named ‘The Emperor’ in his honour. Nicholas gave a plate as the prize in return, with the race being known as the Emperor's Plate until the Crimean War.

The Gold Cup joins the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup as part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown, with Double Trigger winning all three in 1995. Along with the Royal Hunt Cup and the Queen's Vase, owners of the winners of the Gold Cup get to keep the trophy permanently. Yeats is the race’s most successful horse, having won the race four times in succession between 2006 and 2009.

Commonwealth Cup

The Commonwealth Cup is run over six furlongs and is restricted to three-year-olds with a weight of nine stone and three pounds, though fillies get a three pound allowance and southern hemisphere horses an allowance of ten pounds. Interestingly, it is the only Group 1 race that geldings can compete in in Great Britain.

The race has only been being run since 2015, coming in to replace the Buckingham Palace Stakes when it was removed as part of a shake up of Europe’s sprint races. Part of that shake up involved closing the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to three-year-olds.

Coronation Stakes

The Coronation Stakes was inaugurated in 1840 when it was created as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. It was considered to be a Group 2 race when the current gradings were introduced in 1971, but it was promoted to Group 1 in 1988 and has remained in that group ever since. The race is usually populated with competitors from the 1,000 Guineas, the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

The race takes place over seven furlongs and two hundred and thirteen yards, being run right-handed. It is open to three-year-olds with a weight of nine stone. That restriction obviously means that no horse has won it more than once, but both Nat Flatman between 1844 and 1851 and Morny Cannon from 1892 and 1898 won the race five times apiece.

Diamond Jubilee Stakes

This race was first run in 1868 under the title of the All-Aged Stakes, being renamed countless times during its existence. The first renaming came in 1926 when it was given the title of the Cork and Orrey Stakes in honour of the ninth Earl of Cork. It then became the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2002 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II reaching that marker, earning its current title when she reached her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. A Group 3 race when the gradings came in in 1971, it moved to Group 2 in 1998 and Group 1 in 2002.

In 2005 the Global Sprint Challenge was created, with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes being one of the races in the series. The race was initially open to three-year-olds, but that changed in 2015 and it was been for four-year-olds and up ever since. The exception to that rule is for three-year-olds from the southern hemisphere. Run over six furlongs on the straight, it has a weight of nine stone and three pounds, with fillies and mares given a three pound allowance. The race’s most successful horse is the appropriately named Prince Charlie, who won it three times in succession between 1872 and 1874.

Group 2 Races in Detail

Don’t think for one second that the Group 2 races are any less important than the Group 1 offerings, with some of them being held in even higher regard by members of the racing community. We’ll give you the important information on all of the races here.

Coventry Stakes

Run on the straight over six furlongs, this race is open to two-year-olds with a weight of nine stone and one pound, with fillies five a three pound allowance. First run in 1890, it is named after the ninth earl of Coventry. Originally a Group 3 race, it was remotes to Group 2 in 2004.

Queen Mary Stakes

This is a race that is run on the straight over five furlongs and is specifically open to two-year-old fillies, with a weight of nine stone. Named after the consort of King George V, the race was inaugurated in 1921 and was a Group 3 race until its promoted in 2004.

Duke of Cambridge Stakes

First run in 2004, this race takes place on the straight over one mile. It’s for fillies and mares aged four and over with a weight of nine stone. There’s a five pound penalty for Group 1 winners and a 3 pound penalty for Group 2 winners. Originally given the title of the Windsor Forest Stakes, it was renamed after Prince William in 2013 to celebrate his marriage to Kate Middleton.

Norfolk Stakes

Run on the straight over five miles and open to two-year-olds, the race boasts a weight of nine stone one pound, with a three pound allowance for fillies. It was inaugurated in 1843 was the New Stakes, renamed after the 16th Duke of Norfolk in 1973. It was promoted to Group 2 in 2006 and was added as a ‘Win & You’re In’ race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in 2018.

Ribblesdale Stakes

First run in 1919, the Ribblesdale Stakes is named after the 4th Baron of Ribblesdale. Originally run over a mile, its current length is one mile, three furlongs and two hundred and eleven yards. It’s open to fillies aged three and over with a weight of nine stone. Group 1 winners receive a three pound penalty. Participants in the Epsom Oaks often take part in this, with those that do well often considered to be favourites for the Irish Oaks.

King Edward VII Stakes

Open to three-year-old colts and geldings, the King Edward VII Stakes is run right-handed over one mile, three furlongs and two hundred and eleven yards. The weight is nine stone, with Group 1 winners receiving a three pound penalty. First run in 1834, it was known as the Ascot Derby until it was renamed for King Edward VII in 1926. Horses that were entered into the Derby a month earlier are often entered into this race.

Queen’s Vase

When this race was established in 1838 it was run over two miles and restricted to three-year-olds. It was opened to horses older than that in 1840 and then re-restricted in 1987, with the more to the current length of one mile, six furlongs and thirty-four yards coming about in 2017. That was also when it was given Group 2 status, having bounced about between Group 3 and Listed for a time. Run right-handed, the weight is nine stone, with a three pound allowance given to fillies and a three pound penalty for Group 1 winners.

Hardwicke Stakes

Run over one mile, three furlongs and two hundred and eleven yards, the Hardwicke Stakes is for horses aged four and over. There’s a weight of nine stone on pound in place, with fillies and mares receiving a three pound allowance. It’s run right-handed and was first run in 1879, being named after the fifth Earl of Hardwicke. Horses that do well in this race are often put into the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes the following month.

Group 3 Races in Detail

At the time of writing there are eight Group 1 and eight Group 2 races run at Royal Ascot, with just three Group 3 offerings. They’re still well worth keeping an eye on, though, and the following information should help you in your planning for the races.

Jersey Stakes

the Jersey Stakes has been taking place since 1919 and is run on the straight over seven furlongs. It’s for horses aged three with a weight of nine stone one pound, though fillies get a three pound allowance, Group 1 and 2 winners a five pound penalty and a three pound penalty for Group 3 winners. It came into existence as a replaced for the second-leg of the Triennial Stakes and was named in honour of the 4th Earl of Jersey.

Hampton Court Stakes

Known for a time as the Churchill Stakes, this was an ungraded race run over one mile four furlongs. It gained Listed status in 1999 and promoted to Group 3 in 2011 when it was briefly renamed as the Tercentenary Stakes. It has been known as the Hampton Court Stakes in the past, reverting to this name in 2017. Run over one mile, one furlong and two hundred and twelve yards, it’s open to horses aged three as long as they haven’t won a Group 1 or 2 race in the past. The weight is nine stone, with fillies allowed three pounds and Group 3 winners given a four pound penalty.

Albany Stakes

One of the younger races at Ascot, having been founded in 2002, the Albany Stakes was originally known as the Henry Carnavon Stakes in honour of the Queen’s former racing manager. It’s run over six furlongs and is open to two-year-old fillies with a weight of nine stone. The race is run on the straight and gained Group 3 status in 2005.

Handicap, Listed and Conditions Races in Detail

In 2018 the British Horseracing Authority decided that handicap races were not allowed to carry a Group or Listed status. As a result, a number of races that had previously fitted into one of these categories suddenly found themselves stripped of it and referred to simply as a ‘handicap’ race. These are the ones from Royal Ascot that fit into that category:

Ascot Stakes (Handicap)

Open to four-year-olds and over, the race takes place over two miles, three furlongs and two hundred and ten yards. It was introduced in 1988 no horse has won it more than once at the time of writing. As with other races, the 2005 running took place at York because Ascot was being refurbished.

Royal Hunt Cup (Handicap)

First run in 1843, this race takes place over one mile on the straight and is open to three-year-olds and over. It was originally run right-handed over more than seven furlongs, with the distance shorted in 1930 and extended in 1956. It joins the Gold Cup and Queen’s Vase as being a race with a perpetual trophy.

Sandringham Stakes (Handicap)

Open to three-year-old fillies, the Sandringham Stakes was known as the Fern Hill Rated Stakes until 2001. Run over one mile on the straight, it used to be held as part of the Ascot Heath meeting that took place after Royal Ascot.

Britannia Stakes (Handicap)

This race is run over a mile on the flat and is open to three-year-old colts and geldings. It has been run since 1928 and is an equivalent to the Royal Hunt Cup, taking place over the same distance on the same course.

King George V Stakes (Handicap)

Run right-handed over one mile, three furlongs and two hundred and eleven yards, the King George V Stakes is for horses aged three.

Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)

The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes was originally known as the Bessborough Stakes when it was inaugurated in 1914. That was run over five furlongs and open to two-year-olds, but was given its current name in 1999 and is now for horses aged three and over. It’s run over one mile, three furlongs and two hundred and eleven yards, with winners often going on to be successful at Group level.

Wokingham Stakes (Handicap)

This race is named after the nearby market town of Wokingham and was first run in 1813. The winning horse that year was owned by the Duke of York. It was split into two separate classes until 1874 when it became a unified race. Run over six furlongs on the straight, it’s open to horses aged three and over.

Windsor Castle Stakes

Run on the straight over five furlongs, this Listed race is open to horses aged two. The weight is nine stone three pounds, with fillies receiving a five pound allowance.

Wolferton Stakes

First run in 2002, the Wolferton Stakes came into being when Royal Ascot added a fifth day to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Originally known as the Wolfreton Rated Stakes, it’s named in honour of the village of the same title near Sandringham House. It was originally a handicap Listed race, but the handicap was removed in 2018 to comply with the BHA’s new rules.

The race is run right-handed over one mile, one furlong and two hundred and twelve yards and is for four-year-olds and over. The weight is nine stone three pounds, with a five pound allowance for fillies, a three pound penalty for Listed winners and a five pound penalty for Group 3 race winners.

Chesham Stakes

The last of the Listed races to tell you about, the Chesham Stakes is run on the straight over seven furlongs. Open to two-year-olds sired by a winner of a race of one mile and two furlongs or longer, the race was first run in 1919. The weight is nine stone and three pounds, with a five pound allowance for fillies, a five pound penalty for Group winners and a three pound penalty for Listed race winners.

Queen Alexandra Stakes

Named in honour of King Edward VII’s consort Queen Alexandra, this race is run over two miles, five furlongs and one hundred and forty-three yards. It’s a conditions race open to four-year-olds and over with a weight of nine stone if they’re four and nine strone two pounds if they’re five and up. Fillies and mares receive a five pound allowance, whilst Class 1 winners get a penalty of five pounds and Class 2 and 3 winners receive a penalty of three pounds. It is Britain’s longest flat race an often sees horses that ran on the first day of Ascot competing in it as it’s the last race of the meeting.