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Coronation still reigns on day four despite success of Commonwealth Cup

Caravaggio (left) wows on day four with a blistering victory in the Commonwealth Cup
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The Coronation Stakes will retain its place as the designated feature race on day four of Royal Ascot despite the emergence of the Commonwealth Cup as a firm favourite of racing professionals and punters.

Having been talked up as the race of the week, the Commonwealth Cup did not disappoint on the track, with Caravaggio defeating Harry Angel and Blue Point, or in the betting ring, with the clash between the superstar trio resulting in the race leaping from fifth to second behind the Gold Cup in terms of Coral betting-shop turnover for the meeting.

By contrast, the Coronation Stakes, featuring seven runners and a hotshot in Winter who scored as the 4-9 favourite, caused the race to plummet from the third most popular betting event in 2016 to third least popular this year.

Simon Clare, Coral’s PR director, said: “The Gold Cup retained its pre-eminent position as the biggest betting race at Royal Ascot, but the Commonwealth Cup lived up to its billing and proved the second most popular race of the meeting with punters.

“Ascot will be pleased to see the Queen’s Vase perform so well [jumping to seventh from 18th] as a betting contest, but the St James’s Palace and Coronation both suffered in betting terms due to the presence of such dominant odds-on favourites that depressed punter interest.”

He added: “Overall turnover on the meeting was very healthy, and up on last year with no football tournament to contend with. The comprehensive ITV coverage also played its part in stimulating betting turnover across the five days.”

The uplift and spread in betting interest, which also included the Queen Alexandra Stakes being the fifth most popular race, up from 20th, as Thomas Hobson attempted to add the contest to his Ascot Stakes success, was greeted with delight by Nick Smith, Ascot’s director of racing and communications.

Smith said the Coronation Stakes would not be dimmed by the Commonwealth Cup and said: “It’s important to protect the Coronation Stakes as the main contest on the day from a historical sense.

"Whether or not it’s the best race on the day doesn’t matter too much as it can vary from year to year. It’s the race that sits as race four, and at Ascot we make changes only when there is a need to do so.”

Royal Ascot 2017

Races by turnover (Coral betting shops)

2017 2016 2015 DAY TIME RACE

1 1 1 Thur 4.20 Gold Cup

2 5 2 Fri 3.40 Commonwealth Cup

3 2 5 Sat 4.20 Diamond Jubilee

4 7 11 Sat 5.00 Wokingham

5 20 14 Sat 5.35 Queen Alexandra

6 10 8 Weds 4.20 Prince of Wales’s

7 18 24 Fri 5.35 Queen’s Vase

8 8 10 Weds 5.00 Royal Hunt Cup

9 16 26 Sat 2.30 Chesham

10 6 7 Sat 3.40 Hardwicke

11 17 25 Thur 5.00 Britannia

12 21 13 Tues 3.40 King’s Stand

13 4 3 Tues 4.20 St James’s Palace

14 14 12 Tues 2.30 Queen Anne

15 12 20 Fri 5.00 Duke of Edinburgh

16 11 17 Thur 3.40 Ribblesdale

17 23 29 Weds 3.05 Queen Mary

18 13 28 Fri 2.30 Albany

19 29 23 Fri 3.05 King Edward VII

20 15 6 Weds 2.30 Jersey

21 22 16 Thur 5.35 King George V

22 28 15 Thur 2.30 Norfolk

23 19 27 Tues 5.00 Ascot Stakes

24 26 9 Sat 3.05 Wolferton

25 30 30 Tues 5.35 Windsor Castle

26 24 18 Weds 5.35 Sandringham

27 27 21 Thur 3.05 Hampton Court

28 3 4 Fri 4.20 Coronation

29 9 22 Tues 3.05 Coventry

30 25 19 Weds 3.40 Duke of Cambridge

It’s important to protect the Coronation Stakes as the main contest on the day from a historical sense
E.W. Terms