Top Royal Ascot tips by David Jennings Betting at the big festivals has the potential to be a punter's paradise but you need to know the right way to go about it.
DON'T BE PUT OFF BY BIG PRICES
A 25-1 shot at the Cheltenham Festival or Royal Ascot has a stronger chance of winning than a 25-1 shot at Plumpton or Windsor on a Monday. The reason being that most 25-1 shots who run at the smaller tracks midweek are available at such lengthy odds because they have either shown little or are woefully out of form. There are plenty of 25-1 shots at the big festivals who have top-class back form and/or have the potential to win at the highest level. Take last year’s King Edward winner Pyledriver for instance. He went into Royal Ascot having won two of his five starts and on the back of a career-best effort when second in a Group 3 at Kempton, yet he went off at 18-1. On the final day of last year’s meeting, Nando Parrado was a 150-1 winner of the Coventry only a day after his trainer Clive Cox had landed the Commonwealth Cup with Golden Horde. There have been plenty of other big-priced winners in recent years - who could forget the opening winner at Royal Ascot in 2018 was Accidental Agent at 33-1 - so do not be fooled into thinking big prices cannot do the business at the big festivals. They can. You just need to find the right ones.
Double the cost but you are multiplying the prospect of getting something back. Backing each-way at the big festivals is essential. The contests have never been so competitive, and the number of places being offered by bookmakers have never been bigger. The Grand National is the biggest betting event of the year and firms can offer as many as seven or eight places. Imagine if you backed Pleasant Company in the 2018 Grand National. You knew he was being trained for the race, had the right profile and was trained by a master in Willie Mullins. He jumps for fun, is always front rank and goes in pursuit of Tiger Roll from the elbow. He is cutting back Tiger Roll with every stride, but the winning post comes a stride too soon. If you backed him win only you are completely deflated. You have spotted an outsider at 25-1 with a live chance and you got his credentials spot on, yet you come away empty-handed. A short head is all that separated you and a small fortune. At least there is some compensation if you had backed Pleasant Company each-way. A quarter the odds at 25-1 is a shade over 6-1 so you still make a nice profit.
TRUST FESTIVAL FORM
Yeats won four Ascot Gold Cups, Best Mate three Cheltenham Gold Cups and lstabraq three Champion Hurdles. Tiger Roll won two Grand Nationals. It’s clear that festival form has a habit of recurring. Circus Maximus won the St James’s Palace as a three-year-old and came back to land the Queen Anne last year, while Battaash had twice finished second in the King’s Stand before coming back to make it third time lucky in 2020. Stradivarius completed a hat-trick in the Gold Cup while, in the handicaps, Dark Vision had previously finished eighth in the Britannia but went on to win the Royal Hunt Cup. Fujaira Prince was another who had been beaten at Royal Ascot in the past. He had finished third in the 2019 Duke of Edinburgh and improved on that when landing the 2020 Copper Horse Handicap. Those are just a few examples and course form, particularly at the royal meeting, often proves vital.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO HAVE TWO BETS IN ONE RACE
So much value and so many options. It is ludicrous elsewhere but having two bets in the one race is not a bad idea at big festivals like Cheltenham and Royal Ascot. Indeed, it makes perfect sense. With so many places on offer with firms in the big handicaps at the big festivals, having two bets each-way is actually a shrewd move. If firms are offering a quarter the odds the first five places in handicaps, two each-way bets are advised. In last year’s Sandringham African Dream went off 9-4 favourite in a race featuring 15 runners. Several firms were offering five places each-way and you would have covered your stake had you backed second or third favourites Waliyak or Declared Interest with the extra place. That’s without mentioning what you might have won had you found the 33-1 winner Onassis.
USE PEDIGREE TO HELP SOLVE 2YO RACES
Horses often begin their racing careers as a two-year-old, so when it comes to Royal Ascot, many lack experience. With little form to decipher, punters must look for other angles and breeding can often give an indication of the likelier types on paper. As a rudimentary rule of thumb, a stallion's progeny (sons and daughters) will tend to follow in the mould of their sire. Sprinters tend to sire horses whose main attribute is speed, stayers tend to produce horses whose forte is stamina, while milers usually fall somewhere in between.As a rudimentary rule of thumb, a stallion's progeny (sons and daughters) will tend to follow in the mould of their sire. Sprinters tend to sire horse whose main attribute is speed, stayers tend to produce horses whose fore is stamina, while milers usually fall somewhere in between.
Tips to betting on Ascot multiples Our racing experts are the best in the business and spend hours studying the form so you don’t have to. Most frequently our tipsters will select a single horse for a single race, however, Royal Ascot is a unique sporting event which some punters see an opportunity to bet on life-changing multiples. We have published a range of multiple bets or you may want to simply combine some of our Royal Ascot tips yourself. Below is a breakdown of the most popular horse racing multiples you can bet on.
One bet consisting of two selections in different races. Both horses must win (or place if the bet is each-way) to guarantee a return. If the first selection wins, everything that would have been returned is then staked on the second selection.
This is a good way of multiplying the value of two selections and each-way doubles are popular as the place part of the bet runs on to the second selection even if the first doesn’t win. A place double will often yield enough for the full stake to be returned should both selections make the places, so it’s a solid way of attempting to cover your stake on the win part of the bet.
Similar to a double bet but containing three selections rather than two, a treble is a single bet on three horses in different races. All three selections must win (or place if the bet is each-way) to guarantee a win with the returns of the first selection staked on the second, then the returns of the second staked on the third. This is a useful way to multiply the odds on several horses.
An accumulator is a bet that combines four or more selections in one bet. As with doubles and trebles, this is a group of horses in different races and all of them must win (or place if the bet is each-way) to guarantee a return. Due to the high number of selections, the odds are bigger and the risk is greater but, with so much accumulating, the reward for a win is often substantial.
This is one of the most popular multiple bets among racing punters and the clue is in the name as a Lucky 15 consists of 15 bets on four horses in different races. That equals four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator.
The beauty of the Lucky 15 is that only one selection of four must win to guarantee a return and the majority of bookmakers will offer incentives to play the bet. Most will pay out at double the odds if you select one winner, while several pays a bonus of up to 10 per cent for four winners.
The problem is that even if one selection wins at double the odds, it’s highly unlikely the original full stake will be covered and you can still end up losing on the bet despite having had a winner.
Basically a Lucky 15 without the four single bets, a Yankee consists of a total of 11 bets on four horses in different races. That equals six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator. Given we’ve forsaken the singles, a minimum of two selections must win to guarantee a return but that should at least cover the initial outlay and in most cases, two winners will secure a profit.