The oldest and most famous horseracing meeting in the world is taking place in England this week and there will be plenty of value on offer for punters at Royal Ascot. The meeting dates back to 1711, when it was established by Queen Anne, and her descendent Queen Elizabeth II will hold court in Berkshire this year. It will feature a quarter of the UK’s Group 1 races for the entire season and has attracted the leading runners from all over the country and further afield. They will bid for a share of a prize pot totalling more than £6.5 million, and there are some fantastic races shaping up. With 300,000 attendees, this is Europe’s largest crowd for a meeting, but that will be dwarfed by the number of TV viewers from around the world. For the first time ever, American broadcaster NBC will have a daily show covering the races. The racebooks will do a roaring trade and there are lots of opportunities to make money while watching the sport of kings. Youwager will offer attractive odds, review them before betting and ensure you get the best possible prices so that you can sit back and enjoy a thrilling 30 races spread over five days.
There will be plenty of amazing storylines and sub-plots taking place throughout the event. Order of St George is heavy favourite to win the Gold Cup for a second year in a row, while Dartmouth is also trying to defend the Hardwicke Stakes. Gulf states Qatar and Dubai will battle it out in the Queen Anne Stakes when Godolphin’s Ribchester comes up against Lightning Spear of Qatar Racing. NBC viewers will be able to cheer on 14 American runners and Happy Like a Fool has a great chance in the Queen Mary Stakes, while Lady Aurelia will be a threat in the King’s Stand Stakes.
But it could ultimately come down to a duel between two men: legendary trainer Aiden O’Brien and the irrepressible Sir Michael Stoute. O’Brien has dominated the sport in 2016 and ended the year with a record prize money haul, which made him the Champion Trainer of 2016 by an enormous winning margin. The Ballydoyle Maestro won 10 Group 1 races and netted more than £8 million, leaving him with more than double the return of second placed Gosden. He is currently well ahead of Gosden in the 2017 standings and looks set to make it back-to-back titles. He is 1/4 favourite to be named top trainer at Royal Ascot and most of the action is going on him. Gosden is second favourite at 6/1, followed by Stoute at 20/1 and Charlie Appleby at 33/1. The bookmakers are not giving Stoute much of a chance, but it is folly to write him off. He has trained 75 winners at Royal Ascot over the years and has a strong roster this time around, so looks a good option at such long odds. In the “without O’Brien market” he is 11/2 and that looks great.
Ryan Moore is expected to be the top jockey and he will be on most of O’Brien’s top runners. But Frankie Detorri is also in with a shout of beating him to the prize and looks interesting at 9/2, while the 4/5 on offer for him to win it without Moore looks great.
The line up of top races includes the Gold Cup, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Commonwealth Cup and the Coronation Stakes. At 10/1 Tasleet looks a great option for the Diamond Jubilee as he comes into the race in superb form, having just comfortably beaten lower priced contenders in this race. Caravaggio also looks a great option at 5/4 in the Commonwealth Cup.