This year’s Royal Ascot meeting will go ahead next week, but all five days of racing are to take place behind closed doors due to the ongoing social distancing restrictions. However, punters can still follow all the action on TV and through betting websites as some of the quickest horses in the world compete at the most prestigious event on the UK flat racing calendar. Let’s take a look at what’s in store, and odds from 888Sport…
Day one gets the event off to a flyer
The Royal meeting gets underway on Tuesday, June 16, with a high-class card of seven races, which features the Group 1, Queen Anne Stakes, where Circus Maximus is the current 3/1 favourite with 888sport. King Of Change, last year’s 2000 Guineas runner-up and winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at this event last year, will be a big danger too.
Day one will also witness the Kings Stand Stakes, where Battaash is currently a strong market leader at 7/4. He has finished runner-up in this race the last two years, defeated by Blue Point on each occasion. But with his nemesis now retired, it could be third time lucky for Charlie Hills top-class sprinter.
Japan looking to claim the big race on day two
On day two, the feature races are expected to include the Albany Stakes, Norfolk Stakes, and the Prince Of Wales Stakes, where Japan will once again hope to prove himself as one of the best middle-distance runners, following his success in the King Edward VII at this event last year. Aidan O’Brien’s star is set to go off as a strong favourite but will face danger from the likes of Barney Roy and Ghalyyath.
Ascot Gold Cup day
The third day of Royal Ascot is when we see some of the best horses on the planet compete for the world-famous Ascot Gold Cup. The John Gosden trained, Stradivarius, who won this race last year, is a strong odds-on favourite with 888sport to claim the prize again after an impressive season that also saw him win the Yorkshire Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup.
However, he was defeated for the first time in two years when beaten by Kew Gardens in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October, and the pair are set to meet again in the weeks feature race, with Kew Gardens a 7/2 second favourite.
The week comes to a close, but the action remains high-class
The penultimate day of the Royal Ascot meeting will see the Commonwealth Cup take place, where Pierre Lapin is the current market leader at 5/1, ahead of two closely matched rivals, Golden Horde and Earthlight.
The final day of the meeting brings us a bumper eight-race card and a trio of Group 1 races, which include the Coventry Stakes, the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The ones to watch
- Queen Anne Stakes – Circus Maximus
- King Stand Stakes – Battaash
- Prince Of Wales Stakes – Japan
- Ascot Gold Cup – Stradivarius
- Commonwealth Cup – Pierre Lapin