Most important trends to know before placing a bet on Royal Ascot
Trends can be important in racing – and we’re not talking about Royal Ascot’s rules on top hats and tails. Winning trends from years gone by help frame who is likely to contend this year based on all the attributes of previous champs, helping us sort the red-hot contenders from the plucky no-hopers.
Here are the key trends from the last 12 years for all five feature races at this year’s Royal Ascot.
Day 1 – St James’s Palace S. (G1)
This is a good race for the favorites, with 10 of the last 12 winners coming from the top three in the betting. The only exceptions are Circus Maximus in 2019 and Most Improved in 2012. Most Improved’s win that year for trainer Brian Meehan is an anomaly for a lot of the trends. Eleven of the last 12 winners had all won over 8 furlongs, 11 of 12 had at least two wins on the flat, and 11 of 12 had already won that season. Most Improved is the exception to the rule on all three occasions.
Eleven of the last 12 winners were rated 109 or higher on Official Ratings (Mastercraftsman didn’t have a rating when he won in 2009) and half of the last 12 winners were trained by either Aidan O’Brien or John Gosden.
Trend Pick: Mostahdaf
Day 2 – Prince of Wales’s S. (G1)
Although only three favorites from the last 12 years have won this race, 11 of 12 were from the top three in the betting so keep your eye on the top of the market. Ten of 12 winners had also finished in the money on their last run before this race with My Dream Boat (2016) and The Fugue (2014) the two exceptions.
Eleven of 12 had previously won over 10 furlongs with Rewilding (2011) the one who hadn’t as he had never previously raced over the distance. Eleven of 12 also had at least four flat wins on their CV before this race with Free Eagle in 2015 the inexperienced omission on that trend. Ten of 12 had a rating of 109 or higher.
Trend Pick: Lord North
Day 3 – Ascot Gold Cup (G1)
Another strong race for the favorite with eight of the last 12 winners heading the betting. Eight of 12 had won on their last run before Ascot, and eight of 12 had also won at the track before, so recent form and course form are both key.
Ten of 12 had previously won at least five times on the flat (Estimate  and Rite of Passage  the two that didn’t), and nine of 12 were rated 117 or higher with Trip to Paris winning off a lowly 107 in 2015. Rite of Passage was also the only winner in the last 12 who hadn’t already had a run that season.
Incredibly Stradivarius for trainer John Gosden is attempting to win this race for the fourth time in a row.
Trend Pick: Stradivarius
Day 4 – Coronation S. (G1)
Going into the Coronation Stakes keep your eyes on any horse who is coming here off running in the 1000 Guineas (G1) in either England, Ireland, or France. Six of the last 12 winners of this race had just finished in the money in the 1000 Guineas.
Every winner in the last 12 years had at least two wins on the flat previously and 11 of them were rated 108 or higher – Watch Me was rated 104 when she won in 2019. Nine of 12 winners had previously won over the one-mile distance and nine of 12 had already won that season. Ascot experience isn’t important here as 11 of 12 winners had not won at the course previously.
Trend Pick: Mother Earth
Day 5 – Diamond Jubilee S. (G1)
Wins over the distance are key to have on your CV for the Diamond Jubilee S. (G1) with 11 of the last 12 winners having at least three previous wins on the flat to their name. The 2009 winner Art Connoisseur was the only winner in the last 12 years to not have more than six runs on the flat, while 11 of 12 had at least one win over six furlongs. The only one that didn’t was Lethal Force in 2013.
Eight of 12 failed to win on their start before the race so that isn’t too much of a concern, but 10 of 12 were rated 114 or higher, and 11 of 12 had at least one win in a Group race.
Trend Pick: Dream of Dreams