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Royal Ascot Betting

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Find out why the Royal Ascot Festival is such a big deal in racing, what its key races are, which Ascot betting markets you can play, what sort of Royal Ascot betting offers you can claim and how to make best use of them. 

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Horseracing fans love to look forward to betting on the best and biggest horse races and few horseracing meetings have as many as those as Royal Ascot, the highlight of the flat racing calendar in the UK. It features all the star horses, jockeys and trainers from the world of flat racing and the prospect of so many of the world’s best horses in action against each other and competing for some of the biggest prizes in the sport is a mouth-watering one. 

Free bets, risk-free bets, and odds boosts are three of the most common and popular sports betting bonuses at Royal Ascot betting sites. All three give you more bang for your buck when this wonderful festival comes around every year. 

Let’s look at some of the Royal Ascot online betting markets you can wager on, how the different bonuses work, what to look for when choosing the best bookies and which are the races at the Royal Ascot Festival that most capture the attention of racing punters. 

Most Important Things to Know about Royal Ascot Betting

In 2024, the Royal Ascot Festival will take place between Tuesday, 18th June and Saturday, 22nd June, at the Ascot racetrack, which is located in Berkshire, about 25 miles west of London. 

One of the reasons why Royal Ascot betting is so popular is that of the 18 races held over the course of the Festival, eight of them are Group 1 races, the highest possible level in flat racing, meaning some of the best and best-known flat horses are in action against each other. 

Given the importance of all the races, the vast majority of them have ante-post winner markets up as much as a year in advance. This allows punters to secure high odds on horses they feel can improve over the next few months, before their odds shorten in light of strong performances in the build-up to the big race at Ascot. 

Ante-post bettors should, however, be aware that some betting sites operate a policy whereby if your ante-post selection doesn’t run, your bets won’t be refunded. However, the vast majority of Royal Ascot betting sites these days operate a policy of refunding your bet(s) if your horse isn’t confirmed at the declaration stage. 

Remember that this is a five-day festival with plenty of races. So, much like a horse taking it easy, to begin with, rather than going all-out from the off, you need to pace yourself and save your money for the best betting opportunities rather than trying to win on every race. 

If you’re looking forward to some betting on Royal Ascot, you’ll be glad to know that all races are broadcast in the UK on ITV and Sky Sports Racing, while most Royal Ascot betting sites also stream the races live. 


Betting sites to bet on Royal Ascot

How You Can Bet on Royal Ascot 

Next up in our Royal Ascot betting guide, we’re about to tell you about some of the most popular betting markets available across the Festival. 

Winner market 

Here, you’re simply betting on who will win the race. Unlike in the past, you don’t really need to worry too much about when you place your bet on a particular horse and at what odds. That’s because thanks to the Best Odds Guaranteed offer that most bookies have these days, if your horse goes on to win, you’ll be paid out at either the price you backed the horse at or the SP it went off at, whichever is bigger. 

Each-Way Betting 

Half of your bet is placed on the horse to win, the other half on the horse to place. How many places are paid out depends on two factors: a) how many horses there are in the race and b) whether as part of their Royal Ascot betting offers, bookies are paying out on more places than usual in a bid to attract more business. For example, five places rather than the usual four. 

If your horse places, you’ll be paid out on that part of the bet. The odds depend on the terms for that race. If it’s 1/4 odds, then you’d be paid out at a quarter of the odds your horse was available at to win. 

If your horse wins, you’ll be paid out on it placing as per above, plus of course at the win odds, as well. 

Betting Without 

Where there’s a hot favourite in the race, bookies often offer this market. You’re betting on which horse will win the race, ignoring the presence of the named ‘without’ horse. So, if you bet on Brown Bear in the ‘winner without Red Cat’ market and Brown Bear came second to Red Cat, you’d have a winner. Similarly, if Brown Bear won the race outright, you’d also have won. 

Match Bets 

In this market, you’re betting on which of two horses will finish higher in the race, whether they win or not. So, if it was Brown Bear v Red Cat and you bet on Red Cat on the match bet, you’d need it to finish in a higher place than Brown Bear to win. 

Top Jockey/Top Trainer 

If you want to have an interest in all races without necessarily having a bet on each race itself, these two might appeal to you. 

You can bet on either the jockey or the trainer who will secure the most wins over the course of the Festival. 

Analysis of their past performances at the Festival will give you a good clue, although, of course, you also need to consider which horses the jockey and trainer have on their side this time around. 

Most Popular Royal Ascot Betting Offers

Rest assured, there is no shortage of offers sportsbooks promote for the event. So, what Royal Ascot betting offers are available at the best horse racing betting sites, if you shop around?

Here's one match deposit bonus you can claim: Betfred offers an up to 50% cash bonus to bet on Royal Ascot.

If you prefer a free bet bonus, there is a £5 Free Bet bonus at BoyleSports sportsbook you can claim to get you started.

Free Bet 

In some cases, the bookie will give you one or more free bets to use without you having to do anything. They might need to be used for a particular race, or they may be used for any race of your choice; it depends on the offer. Typically, free bets are for relatively small amounts, like £2 or £5. 

In other cases, you might have to place a qualifying bet in order to receive the free bet. For example, you might need to place a £5 bet on a Royal Ascot race in order to get a £5 free bet to use on a future race. 

Read the terms and conditions carefully, as there may be minimum odds at which the qualifying bet, or even the free bet, need to be placed at. 

The free bet is also likely to have an expiry date. You normally only receive winnings from the free bet without the stake being returned, though on the plus side, winnings don’t normally have wagering requirements on them. 

Risk-Free bet 

Somewhat similar to a free bet, but here, you need to use your own money to place the bet rather than using the bookie’s money. If your bet wins, you’ll be paid out as usual; if it doesn’t, Royal Ascot betting sites will refund you the value of your stake, either as cash or as a free bet for the same amount.

Because the money was yours to begin with, if your risk-free bet wins, you’ll also get your stake refunded in addition to your winnings.  

Odds Boost 

Odds boosts are quickly becoming one of the more prominent sports betting bonuses, not just when it comes to wagering on racing but also when it comes to betting on sports competitions such as the Premier League, Wimbledon or the NFL. 

Here the bookie will enhance the odds on a particular selection, so you’ll get a bigger payout than usual if it wins.  

For example, if 2023 Oaks winner Soul Sister would normally be priced up at 3.0 to win a Royal Ascot race in 2024, a particular bookie might boost her odds to 3.5. 

Best Odds Guaranteed  

We’ve explained the mechanics of this offer already when talking about betting on the race winner market: you’ll be paid out at either the odds you backed the horse at or at the SP, whichever is bigger.  

At betting sites that run it, it’s available on all UK and Ireland races, and that obviously includes all Royal Ascot races, so it’s another thing to add to the list of Royal Ascot betting offers. 

Extra Places 

Another that we’ve already explained: the betting site will extend the number of places they pay out on when it comes to each-way bets.  

How to Choose the Best Royal Ascot Betting Sites

If you’re planning on some Royal Ascot betting come June, you’ll want to do so at one of the best Royal Ascot betting sites in order to get the most out of your experience. Here are some key factors to look for when choosing one or more sites to bet at. 

  • Welcome offer and further bonuses: Every betting site will offer you something for signing up with them. Whether it’s a free bet or a deposit bonus, check out the value of what’s up for grabs, what you need to do to claim it, wagering requirements in place and anything else of relevance to determine how good a welcome bonus it is. But it’s also important they have additional offers beyond that. Such as, of course, some good Royal Ascot betting offers. 
  • Generosity of odds: As any pro punter will tell you, this is the most important factor of all. Consistently getting bigger returns than you would at other bookies on winning bets is absolutely crucial to your long-term profit and loss. 
  • Live streaming/race analysis/tips: If you don’t have TV pictures, the next best thing is to be able to stream the race, especially if you’re going to be placing wagers in live betting. Most sites let you stream the race as long as you have an active funded account. Many sites also have a short analysis of the race provided by the likes of Timeform or the Racing Post to help you understand how the race might unfold and the chances of the different horses. The analysis may also include some betting tips. 
  • Licence, safety and security: Not the sexiest aspect of horseracing betting but one of the most important ones. To ensure that your money and personal data are safe, you’ll want to have an account that holds a valid betting licence, ideally that of the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority. You’ll also want to check that the site has the necessary certificates proving they conduct regular audits, test their software on an ongoing basis and use encrypted technology (like the ones banks use) to make sure no one can hack into your account or access your money or data in some other way.  
  • Customer service: Another of those factors that’s more important than it is fun. Everyone will have an issue at some stage such as not being able to make a deposit or withdrawal, a query over the settlement of a bet or something similar. So, you need the Sportsbook Customer Service Team to be available 24/7 (or almost), to be easily reachable by phone/e-mail/Live Chat and to be helpful, polite and able to solve your query quickly. 

Most Important Races at Royal Ascot

Let’s round off our Royal Ascot betting guide with a look at the most important races at the five-day Festival.

Prince of Wales’s Stakes

Always taking place on the Wednesday of the Festival, this is a 1-mile and 1-furlong Group 1 race open to horses aged four or older. 

It was first run in 1862, discontinued after World War II (because there was no Prince of Wales at the time!)  and re-introduced back in 1968 when Prince Charles was given that status. 

For a time, it was a Group 2 race before being promoted to Group 1 in 2000. The leading trainer in the race, John Porter, won it eight times either just before the turn of the 20th century or just after it, while it was a similar story for jockey Morney Cannon (six wins), who also enjoyed his success at roundabout the same time. 

The last time any horse won it on more than one occasion was back in 1995 when Muhtarram won it for the second time. 

Gold Cup

Held on the Thursday of the Festival, also known as Ladies Day, it’s Britain’s most prestigious flat event for stayers: horses who specialise in races over a longer distance. 

Also a Group 1 race, it’s run over 2 miles and 3 furlongs and is open to horses aged four or older. It’s the first leg of the Stayers Cup- the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup are the other two- and the owners of the winner of this one get to keep the Gold Cup plate permanently. 

Yeats is the only horse to have won it four times, though, between 2018 and 2020, Stradivarius won it three times in a row. 

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes

Taking place on Saturday, the final day of the Festival, it’s been a Group 1 race since 2002 when it was renamed (to its present name) to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 2002. 

Run over six furlongs, it’s open to horses aged four or older, and the race is run on the straight part of the track rather than the horses having to go around a bend. 

Since 1971, no horse has won it more than once, though when raced under a different name and distance, Prince Charlie won it three times in a row between 1872 and 1874. 

More recently, star jockey Ryan Moore has ridden the winner in three of the last eight editions, with James Doyle victorious twice over the same period.