2020 Royal Ascot Betting Guide

Odds, Tips, Lines and Legal Betting Sites

The Royal Ascot is the premier race meet in Britain

With more than 300 years of history and five days of nonstop action annually, The Royal Ascot is well-known even to those who don’t watch horse racing. It is easily the most prestigious flat-race meeting in Europe. Big-name competitors from all over the world subsequently gather for a week to battle it out for a share of the multimillion-dollar prize pool.

Accompanying these racers are hundreds of thousands of fans and gamblers looking to get in on the action and, hopefully, make some cash.

The Royal Ascot earns its spot as the highlight of the flat races. The event features a total of 19 group races, with eight of those being in Group One

Prize money of $12 million is available, and the quality of races are unsurpassed anywhere else. 

Also of note is the role the royal family plays in the races. Their regular attendance at the Royal Ascot extends back to the 1700s; Queen Anne brought the Ascot Racecourse into existence.

It serves as a social and fashion event, as well as a cross-class unifier for UK people. The Royal Ascot is one of the only horse racing events to receive consistent coverage in the mainstream media.  

In 2020, the event will take place from Tuesday, June 16, through Saturday, June 20. This five-day period is consistently the busiest time of the year for bookmakers and betting sites in the UK. It is even the most hectic for some international bookies, too. 

Last year, more than $500 million of bets were placed, and that amount is expected to be even higher this year.

Best betting sites for the Royal Ascot

We want to make sure that you get your money’s worth no matter what sports betting site you use. And, if you are new, you’ll want to visit a bookmaker that respects its customers and makes it easy to place bets. 

Below, we’ve constructed a list of some of the best horse racing betting sites around. You’ll be sure to get the greatest bang for your buck here and have the easiest time doing it, too. 

If you live in the US, be sure to check your state’s laws on online gambling before you start placing bets. Most states are permissive, but a few states heavily restrict it or ban gambling altogether. Make sure you see what is and isn’t allowed, so you don’t fall into any potential legal trouble. 

After all, you wouldn’t want to see your Royal Ascot winnings go up in smoke, would you?

How to bet on the Royal Ascot

You’ve hit the tailor, you’ve put on your finest top hat and your outfit looks absolutely sniffing. 

OK, you don’t need to go that far to bet on the Royal Ascot, but it certainly helps to know your teller from your off-track site. We’re here to give you a helping hand as you prepare to bet on the most royal event of the horse racing season. 

The following explains the three primary ways you can bet on the Royal Ascot race:

Online betting

You would think with horse racing’s long, established tradition around the world that more states would be amenable to allowing it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case across the US. 

Most states allow horse betting online, and a similar number allow it in-person on or off the track. However, there are a few states where it’s much more heavily restricted. Be sure to check your state’s laws on online gambling.

Plenty of websites will provide you with the quality of service you deserve. It’s all about finding the right bookie, which we can certainly help you find. 

Just remember, that when it comes to betting on the Royal Ascot, betting online is the easiest way to get a slice of the action.

Betting at the teller

If you haven’t done this before, it’s easy to think that you’ll look like you’re wasting the teller’s time. Worry not; they’re happy to help you if you need assistance. 

But to avoid wasting anybody’s time, here’s what you need to do:

  • First, make sure to specify the racetrack you’re visiting.
  • Secondly, specify the race number
  • Then share the amount you’re betting. 
  • Next, explain the kind of bet you want to place.
  • Finally, give the program number of the horse(s).

Quinella and exotic bets work the same way in regards to ordering wagers. Just make sure to specify the correct number of horses, and everything else is the same. 

Once you receive your ticket, hold onto it. Many people know stories of bettors who won big but couldn’t claim their winnings because they lost their ticket.

Off track betting

Off-track betting (OTB) facilities are great for gamblers who want to witness all the action without actually having to be physically present at a racetrack. 

At an OTB, you can bet on races all over the world and watch the action as it unfolds. We know it’s not easy to get to the UK, nor is it the easiest to face that patchy weather. Therefore, if you still fancy experiencing the live buzz on the day of the races, don’t be afraid to head down to your nearest off-track betting facility.

With us by your side, you’ll never lack the information you need to make the most of your horse betting experience. 

If you’re new, start by placing small bets. This way will help you get a feel for how everything works. As you become more experienced and you get in the groove of things, you can start making more ambitious wagers. 

That’s where you’ll strike big and, we’ll do everything we can to help make that happen.

Is it legal to bet on the Royal Ascot?

Yes, it is. At the federal level, since 1978, which is an important distinction to make because it doesn’t prohibit states from deciding how legal to make it. 

Each state regulates horse betting differently. Most states allow all forms, including on- and off-track betting. Nevertheless, nine states don’t allow you to bet online on horse races. Besides, other states have specific rules regarding off-site facilities. 

Naturally, we don’t want you to get in any legal trouble. Therefore, please research your state’s laws carefully before actually placing any wagers.

Even if you live in a state that isn’t so permissive, you still have options available to you, so don’t panic. 

A popular choice is to gamble at offshore sites. As long as the facility is properly licensed and regulated, it is not a crime to bet at facilities located outside the US. 

However, if you live in Washington state or Connecticut, you’re out of luck because all forms of online gambling are illegal. In other words, you’ll have to go outside of the state if you want to make your bets. 

When events, like the Royal Ascot, on the horizon, it’ll be well worth the journey.

Types of bets you can place at the Royal Ascot 

Horse betting is typically split up into two categories of bets: standard and exotic pools. 

  1. Standard pools contain the core types of bets: win, place and show. These bets require your horse to place first, first or second, or first, second or third, respectively. 
  2. Exotic pools include exacta, trifecta, superfecta and super high five bets. These bets require wagering on all the horses that finish from second to fifth place.

The basic bet types are self-explanatory, and you probably know them already. However, exotic wagers are a different story. 

Let’s start with the exacta, which requires you to select the first two finishers in the right order. 

Things then ramp up from there. The trifecta needs you to pick the first three finishers; the superfecta requires four and the super high five – as you might have guessed – requires five picks. 

Tough picks as they might be; nonetheless, wrapping up one of these wagers might lead you to a massive payday.

Past winners at the Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot has been the stomping ground to some of the most famous runners and riders in history. 

We’ve even seen some royal-family-backed horses romp home to victory in the past, which should tell you something about the level of horse that attends this particular event. 

Below, we’ve listed some of the most famous — and arguably not-so-famous — winners of the Royal Ascots biggest races:

Royal Ascot Gold Cup Winners 2000-2019

YearWinnerAgeJockeyTrainerTime
2019Stradivarius5Frankie DettoriJohn Gosden04:30.8
2018Stradivarius4Frankie DettoriJohn Gosden04:21.1
2017Big Orange6James DoyleMichael Bell04:22.4
2016Order of St George4Ryan MooreAidan O'Brien04:26.2
2015Trip To Paris4Graham LeeEd Dunlop04:22.6
2014Leading Light4Joseph O'BrienAidan O'Brien04:21.1
2013Estimate4Ryan MooreSir Michael Stoute04:20.5
2012Colour Vision4Frankie DettoriSaeed bin Suroor04:42.0
2011Fame and Glory5Jamie SpencerAidan O'Brien04:37.5
2010Rite of Passage6Pat SmullenDermot Weld04:16.9
2009Yeats8Johnny MurtaghAidan O'Brien04:20.7
2008Yeats7Johnny MurtaghAidan O'Brien04:21.1
2007Yeats6Michael KinaneAidan O'Brien04:20.8
2006Yeats5Kieren FallonAidan O'Brien04:20.4
2005Westerner  [e]6Olivier PeslierElie Lellouche04:19.5
2004Papineau4Frankie DettoriSaeed bin Suroor04:20.9
2003Mr Dinos4Kieren FallonPaul Cole04:20.1
2002Royal Rebel6Johnny MurtaghMark Johnston04:25.6
2001Royal Rebel5Johnny MurtaghMark Johnston04:18.9
2000Kayf Tara6Michael KinaneSaeed bin Suroor04:24.5

Royal Ascot odds

Odds, odds, odds, it is pretty tough to figure out who’s offering what these days. 

When the Royal Ascot rolls around, it’s not just the horses that come charging out of the blocks. We get that it’s not always easy finding the best odds, which is why we’ve taken the legwork out of the challenge. 

You can subsequently be sure you’re getting the best odds on any of the horses that may have caught your eye. 

The following table looks at all the runners and riders at the Royal Ascot:

Five days at the Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot lasts an astounding five days, with the action guaranteed at every furlong. 

For novices, it can be tough to digest all that’s happening. Thankfully, we’re here to guide you through each day and all that’s going on, races included, of course.

Tuesday

Once the Greencoats open the gates at precisely 10:30 a.m. GMT, thousands of fans will enter the arena to see a perfectly prepared racecourse. 

Anticipation will build as the races approach. At 2 p.m., the Royal Procession begins in accordance with tradition. Decorated landau carriages, led by four Windsor gray horses, will canter along the Straight Mile. 

This procession precedes three major Group One Races: the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Queen Anne Stake and the King’s Stand Stakes. These are some of the most hotly anticipated races in flat racing anywhere in the world.

Wednesday

On the second day of the event, the mood will shift as the crowds shrink, and the atmosphere becomes a little less tense. 

The premier race of the day is the Prince of Wales Stakes, which is a Group One event that takes place over a distance of 10 furlongs. This race is particularly historic, running since 1862. 

This race is accompanied by Group Two’s Queen Mary Stakes and Duke of Cambridge Stakes. These are held for 2-year-old fillies and fillies and mares 4 or older, respectively.

Of course, racing isn’t the only thing to do. 

The famous 1768 Grill & Tea Rooms, located in the Queen Anne enclosure, provide a relaxing evening of tea, sandwiches, scones and, if the fancy strikes you, champagne.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the celebrities, A-listers and royals, keep your eyes on the Queen Anne enclosure. Who knows who you might see?

Thursday

Thursday is when the Gold Cup is run, traditionally. 

It is famous for being the most significant race of the year and is only less than 2.5 miles in length. More informally, it is known as “Ladies Day” due to the colorful array of fashionable clothes worn by the audience. 

The Gold Cup was first run in 1807 and is, therefore, the oldest continuously run race at the Royal Ascot festival. Winners traditionally receive a solid gold trophy made by Garrard & Co

The day of the Gold Cup is when women wear their finest hats and millinery, with it becoming a media-frenzy of fancy hats and fast photographs.

Friday

In preparation for the weekend, two Group One races are held: the Coronation Stakes and the Commonwealth Cup

The Coronation Stakes can trace ancestry into 1840; it was run to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria two years prior. The Commonwealth Cup was introduced in 2015 for 3-year-old horses, so it’s the latest addition to an already busy week of racing. 

The Royal Ascot is a festival of races steeped in history and revelry. The most dedicated fans and gamblers will want to bring their cup. The Plymouth fruit cup, which is a gin-based drink served with a cornucopia of different fruits, will be offered at the Village Enclosure.

Saturday

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is the centerpiece of the day’s event. It is a Group One sprint race that routinely boasts some of the most exciting action in British sports. 

The Wokingham Stakes are next, which covers six furlongs and is over in a flash. This race serves as a warmup for the Queen Alexandra Stakes. At 2 miles and six furlongs, it is, by far, the longest race of the entire Royal Ascot festival. It also serves as a suitably epic finale. Many revelers dress in their finest clothes on this day, since it’s the last until next year. 

If you want to gamble in style, pop open some champagne in your Sunday finest, you’ll fit right in.

How to watch the Royal Ascot on TV on via live stream

The Royal Ascot is one of the most accessible events of the racing season. All 30 races are broadcast live on ITV and Sky Racing in the UK, along with a day’s worth of coverage and analysis. 

Also, the Racing Post website contains options for live streaming the event. Furthermore, you can count on the Opening Show to provide initial coverage at 9 a.m. The actual coverage of the racing begins at 1:30 p.m.

Those across the pond only have one option when it comes to watching the Royal Ascot, and that’s through NBC Sports. Available through TV and a dedicated online streaming service, it’s the easiest way to watch the action stateside. But, if you can’t watch it, you can always catch the aftermath on YouTube.

History of the Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot’s history begins in the early 1700s. 

Back when Ascot was known as East Cote, Queen Anne recognized the potential for horse races to be held in the region. This was during one of her trips near Windsor Castle when she noted that the terrain of the region was optimal for horses galloping at full speed. 

On Aug. 11, 1711, the first race was held at what is now Ascot. The event was called Her Majesty’s Plate, and it was open to any horses 6 or older.

The first Royal Ascot ran in 1711

The 1711 race was worth 100 guineas, a significant sum at the time. Horses had to carry a weight of 12 stone, and the actual event itself barely resembled what the Royal Ascot has become in the years since. 

All the horses were English Hunters, which is a far cry from the groups of thoroughbreds that populate the races today. 

The race consisted of three heats, each more than 4 miles. This distance means the winning horse has to possess an enormous amount of stamina to finish.

It didn’t take long for horse racing at Ascot to become popular with the middle and upper classes. A century later, in 1813, an Act of Enclosure was passed to ensure that Ascot Heath would remain in use for horse racing even though it was legally the property of the crown. It is currently managed by the Ascot Authority, which was created by the Parliament in 1913. 

The original positions are the chairman of the authority and clerk of the course. These positions remain but are supplemented by the chief executive and various departmental directors to manage the course better.

The Royal Stand

The Royal Stand is of particular historical significance. 

It dates back to the 1790s when a stand was temporarily created during the royal meeting. This stand was intended to provide the visiting King George III with private, well-guarded quarters. Access was invitation-only. 

Such enclosures were largely informal creations until May 1845, when the Royal Stand was formally established by decree. 

The necessity of this private area was established in June 1832, when William IV was struck by a rock thrown by a disgruntled former sailor named Dennis Collins

To this day, the Royal Stand serves as a refuge of privacy and security in an otherwise crowded and rowdy event. In other words, it ensures that the royal family can enjoy the festivities in relative peace.

The 25 days of racing each year

Until the end of World War II, Ascot only featured the four-day long Royal Meeting. But, thanks to increased interest from the public, the number of races and events has grown over the years. A particularly popular addition was the steeplechase and hurdle course, added in 1965. This meant that National Hunt meetings could even be held during the winter.

As of today, the Ascot Racecourse stages a total of 25 days of racing. There are nine National Hunt meetings held between October and April and 16 flat meetings held between May and October. 

Consequently, there are no parts of the year without races. The marquee race is undoubtedly the Royal Meeting, which is held in June each year. It is perhaps the most spectacular and extravagant meeting held at the Ascot, steeped in panache and tradition.

Revelers and gamblers can look forward to a variety of events during the Royal Ascot. 

The Diamond Day features Queen Elizabeth and King George VI Diamond Stakes. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is held during the Blue Square Shergar Cup, which also serves as the race’s only team competition. More than half a million fans attend the Royal Ascot each year, enjoying the opportunity to revel and gamble with abandon for an entire week.

One thing is for sure; there’s never a dull moment during the historic Royal Ascot event. Especially when you consider the pageantry and nonstop action involved.

Royal Ascot FAQ

When is the Royal Ascot?

The Royal Ascot consistently takes place in mid- to late-June each year.

In 2019, it took place from June 18 to June 22. Each day, the gates were opened at 10:30 a.m. by the famous Greencoats, with crowds rushing in shortly after.

What is the Royal Ascot Procession?

While revelers from all over the world attend the Royal Ascot for racing reasons, some non-racing events are worth sticking around. 

The Royal Procession marks the arrival of the queen and the other Royals in horse-drawn carriages. They travel along what is known as the Straight Mile, and in the true spirit of the event, wagers are placed on what color Her Majesty is wearing. They enter each day at 2 p.m., which is half an hour before the first races are run.

How many horses run at the Royal Ascot?

The Royal Ascot is the biggest horse racing event in England. 

A total of 509 horses run several races over five days. Expect plenty of competition on the track and even more between punters at the teller.

How much does the winner of the Royal Ascot receive?

Owing to its support by the royal family, Royal Ascot’s prize pool is consistently among the largest in the world

In 2018, the total purse was a record-shattering $18.5 million, more than 10% over 2017’s total. This prize money will be split among the hundreds of racers that will compete at the many different races held at the Ascot.

What kind of racecourse / track is it?

The course is 14 furlongs in length and is both flat and round. It is a triangular, right-handed course that possesses a run-in that is 2.5 furlongs in length. 

Also, there’s the Straight Mile and Old Mile courses, which joins Swinley Bottom as the Ascot’s round courses. Recent redevelopment over the past few years has improved the function and design of the courses, making the races more exciting. It’s been noted that the ground in the Straight Mile drains more quickly than other parts of the course. The racing experience varies somewhat from other tracks.

When is post-time?

There are six races held each day, for a total of 30. The first race begins at 2:30 p.m., half an hour after the Royal Procession. The last race of the day is held at precisely 5:35 p.m.

How many mares have won the Royal Ascot?

Far more than we can reasonably list here. Owing to its three centuries of history, the Royal Ascot has seen more than its share of mares win every kind of race. 

If we look at the Queen Anne Stakes, there have been two notable victors in the previous 10 years. There was the French horse Goldikova, who won in 2010 for Freddy Head, and the American horse Tepin, who won in 2016 for Mark Casse.

This isn’t all that bad, considering that only a baker’s dozen of fillies and mares have seriously contested the race in that time. Before Goldikova’s victory, the last mare to win the Queen Anne Stakes was Kandy Sauce in 1956. 

There have been a few other notable contenders. For instance, Esoterique finished second in 2015, and both Goldikova and Darjina were the bridesmaids in 2011 and 2008, respectively.

How much does it cost to get Royal Ascot tickets?

Starting at the top, the Royal Enclosure tickets are not available for general purchase. You can only buy these if you are a member or their guest, or if you have a hospitality guest day badge. 

Queen Anne Enclosure tickets are £77 if purchased on Tuesday or Wednesday, and £90 if purchased after that. 

Village Enclosure tickets are £69 if bought Thursday or Friday, and £71 if purchased on Saturday. 

Finally, Windsor Enclosure tickets cost £37 if purchased Tuesday or Wednesday, and £46 after that. 

Obviously, if you are an American attendee, you are going to need to run these numbers through a currency converter to get an accurate price.

How long does the Royal Ascot last?

The Royal Ascot is famous for being the longest horse racing festival anywhere in the United Kingdom. 

A whole five days mark the festivities, filled with exciting races, competitive handicaps and entertaining events. Trust us when we say that there is no shortage of betting opportunities. This memorable and exciting week of races makes a lot of bettors rich, so make sure you’re among them.

What is the best day to attend the Royal Ascot festivities?

The Royal Ascot lasts for five whole days, with each day being host to a variety of different races and events. The races traditionally begin on a Tuesday and run until Saturday. 

If you’re just a casual fan, then feel free to stop by at any time. Hardcore fans will want to experience the full range of festivities, so be sure to secure days off in advance. For big-time gamblers, Wednesday has proven to be the most popular day to make bets. Whether this is due to superstition or otherwise, don’t miss your chance to place your bets.

Thursday is most famous as being Ladies Day. This day is when women dress up in their fanciest attire, going for high heels, fancy hats and beautiful dresses and skirts. 

But, of course, men aren’t excluded from the fun; many of them dress up too and join the fun! If you love the sight of huge hats, this is the event for you. 

Friday and Saturday are when events start to wind down. However, since it is the weekend, some of the best drinking is to be had on these two days. As the day grows long, the atmosphere tends to heat up as the racing begins, and the event reaches its climax. 

Regardless of your preferences, there’s an optimal day for everybody at the Royal Ascot.

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