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Royal Ascot 2020

At Royal Ascot 2020 do these horses have something to prove?

Royal Ascot 2020

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC

Royal Ascot 2020 is fast approaching and promises to be bigger and better than ever

Royal Ascot traces its origins back to 1711 when Queen Anne inaugurated the first racing meet at the nearby Windsor Great Park. The event was initiated as a celebration of the horse, with the royal family's passion for equestrian sports and racing playing a pivotal role in its establishment. 

The royal traditions continue, such as the daily procession of horse-drawn carriages, the monarch's arrival, and the Queen Anne Stakes, named in honour of the event's founder.

The prestigious Flat meeting held near the royal residence at Windsor Castle is held over five days in the middle of June, but this year there are extra races for punters to get stuck into.

An expanded Royal Ascot format was announced in May but, away from the consolation events and new handicaps added to the now 36-race schedule, there are horses heading to the Berkshire track with something to prove. Let’s take a look at two of those and why they have critics to answer?  

Brilliant sprinter Battaash has third King’s Stand crack

Would you make a horse beaten at Royal Ascot three times in the past favourite for a Group 1 race at the meeting? That’s precisely what bookmakers are doing with the mercurial sprinting talent Battaash.

Charlie Hills’s stable star chased home the magnificent Blue Point in each of the last two renewals of the King’s Stand Stakes over the flying five furlongs. He now bids to make it third time lucky and no longer has the Royal Ascot sprint double winner owned by Godolphin to contend with.

With Blue Point retired to stud, and how he does there is well worth keeping an eye on, the way appears clear for Battaash to finally win at the royal meeting. Odds of 15/8 reflect this and the fact that many of the latest Ascot betting tips side with him.

For the hungry punter it is wise to take a more cautious approach when betting at the Royal Ascot meeting. 

My favourite bet structure is the 20/80  which is a bet where you place 20% of your stake on the horse to win and 80% on the horse to place. 

It reduces the risk, but still rewards you for the horse winning the race.

Using a 20/80 bet with a £10 stake, we would place £2 on the win market and £8 on the place market. 

The only question mark over Battaash is whether the uphill finish on this particular track suits him.

All previous doubts about the triple Glorious Goodwood winner handling the course and occasion at York were dispelled by a scorching victory in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at the Ebor Festival there last August, and he could do likewise here.

Pinatubo looks to bounce back at Royal Ascot 2020 after Guineas flop

Powerful global owners Godolphin and their retained trainer Charlie Appleby had a potential superstar on their hands in Pinatubo. He put all-comers to the sword as a two-year-old and earned the highest rating for a juvenile on the Flat for 25 years.

Royal Enclosure

However, precocious talents must train on and Pinatubo disappointed when sent off odds-on to win the 2000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. He could only finish third to Kameko and a length behind the runner-up Wichita in that Classic contest.

With his unbeaten record gone, Pinatubo could be out for redemption in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. This race has been delayed from its usual slot on the opening day of the meeting to the Saturday to give the three-year-old colts extra time to recover from their Newmarket exertions.

As Pinatubo is the 11/8 favourite, but has a length to find on potentially re-opposing 2000 Guineas runner-up Wichita, there is definitely something for him to prove. The St James’s Palace is a valuable race in its own right which Godolphin have won this century with Barney Roy, Dawn Approach and late super sire Shamardal. 

Did You Know?

  • Royal Ascot is renowned for its strict dress code, particularly in the Royal Enclosure, where morning suits and top hats for men and formal day dresses with hats for women are mandatory.
  • The tradition of extravagant hats and fascinators worn by female attendees, which have become an iconic part of the event's fashion spectacle.
  • Did I mention the "Royal Enclosure Style Guide," which outlines the specific dress code requirements and etiquette, reflecting the event's emphasis on tradition and formality?

Pageantry and Traditions:

  • Be amazed by the pageantry and rituals that surround Royal Ascot, such as the daily parade ring, where horses are paraded before each race, allowing spectators to get a closer look.
  • The tradition of the singing of the British national anthem before the first race each day, and the presentation of the iconic gold trophy to the winner of the prestigious Gold Cup race.
  • Discuss the long-standing traditions of picnicking, champagne, and fine dining that are integral to the Royal Ascot experience, adding to the event's grandeur and atmosphere.

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