Royal Ascot is one of the major UK flat racing events. Not only do world-class horses, jockeys, and trainers descend on the course, but crowds of fans and celebrities make their way there to spectate. A sight to behold, it has plenty of action to keep you entertained. Below, we give three of the main races you may wish to place a bet on.
Queen Anne Stakes
This group one race is open to horses aged four years and over. Fast-paced, it is run over a distance of 1 mile. It is usually held on the opening day of the Royal Ascot event.
Earlier in history, it was known as the Trial Stakes. However, by 1930 it had been renamed after Queen Anne. It was this monarch who had founded the racecourse, turning it from a large field for running horses to a regularly used track.
This year’s race will be just as popular and a highlight of Royal Ascot. The favorite for the race is Modern Games, priced at around 4/5. Many of the top tipsters, such as Tony Calvin, are predicting even close rival Inspiral will struggle to beat it this year. Other fancied horses include Chindit and Triple Time.
St James Palace Stakes
This race is named after St James Palace, a royal residence during the reign of the Tudor family. The first run was in 1834, and for a long time, it was classed as a Grade Two race. It was upgraded to a Grade One in 1988.
Many of its horses have previously run in the 2000 Guineas or the Irish Guineas. Much of the information on their form comes from this and helps dictate their betting odds.
The true hero of the race has to be Irish jockey Michael Kinane. He won the race a staggering six times, his last being in 2004 on Azamour. The killer pairing of trainer Aidan O’Brien and owner Sue Magnier is also formidable, managing to have eight wins in the race.
Kings Stand Stakes
The Kings Stand is another group 1 flat race. It is open to horses aged three years and older. Run over a distance of five furlongs it was originally contested over a longer distance. Bad weather conditions in 1860 meant it was shortened from its normal two-mile course to the only part of the track that could be used. It soon became the most important sprint, and then known as the Queens Stand Stakes, was renamed in 1901.
It is part of the Global Sprint Challenge. This is a series of international sprint races, held in Japan, Australia, and the UK. It is now classed as the fourth leg of the series.
Many horses have won twice, such as Blue Point and Elbio, though none have won three times. Lester Piggott is the leading jockey, starting his wins in 1957 on Right Boy and ending in 1985 with Never So Bold.
There are many more at the festival. Keep your ears peeled for tips, tune in, or visit the event yourself for some world-class racing.