Royal Ascot 2020

The most prestigious event in horse racing, Royal Ascot is a five-day Flat meeting which is held at Ascot in mid-June. With more than £8 million in prize money up for grabs at the event, the very best Flat performers from around the world descend on the Berkshire venue to take their chance in front of Her Majesty The Queen, who attends each and every day year in, year out. However, the 2020 Royal Ascot extravaganza will take place behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Day-by-Day Schedule - Tuesday 16th June to Saturday 20th June

The meeting runs from Tuesday to Saturday, with each day holding a seven-race card, while Saturday offers a bumper eight-race card. There are eight Group 1 races in total, with the feature being Thursday's Ascot Gold Cup, which is for the stayers and is run over a distance just shy of two and a half miles (two miles, three furlongs and 210 yards). The John Gosden-trained Stradivarius has dominated the race in recent years winning the event in 2018, 2019 and in 2020.

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The week kicks off with a real bang on the Tuesday, with some fascinating Group races. The Queen Anne Stakes is the highlight on the opening day, while the King's Stand Stakes and Ribblesdale Stakes are another couple of top notch Group events taking place. 

The second day of the meeting features one of the highlights of the week, the Prince of Wales's Stakes over a mile and two furlongs. The race is for horses aged four and up, and is regularly contested by some of the best middle distance horses in training, with the likes of So You Think (2012), Al Kazeem (2013) and Crystal Ocean (2019) all winning in recent years.

The Thursday of the meeting features the big race of the week, the Ascot Gold Cup. The Queen traditionally gives out the prize to the winning connections, and she became the first reigning monarch to win the race when Estimate scored in the Group 1 contest under Ryan Moore in 2013. The current holder of the race is Stradivarius, who will be aiming to complete a hat-trick in 2020. 

Day Four of Royal Ascot is headlined by the newest race at the meeting, the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, which is a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds. The race was only established in 2015, but has already been won by some seriously smart types, including Muhaarar (2015), Caravaggio (2017) and Advertise (2019). 

The meeting was extended to five days in 2002, to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and Saturday's card is headlined by the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs. The race changed its name once again in 2012 to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to mark the updated celebrations around The Queen's reign. 

Get the lowdown on Royal Ascot with our special edition podcast featuring expert tipster Chris Baker!
Get the lowdown on Royal Ascot with our special edition podcast featuring expert tipster Chris Baker!

Picking a Royal Ascot winner

Royal Ascot is a race meeting like no other, and punters are always desperate to back a winner during the most prestigious week in the sport. Like with all racing, it can prove tricky to find a winner at the Royal meeting, though the form of the first couple of months of the British Flat Turf season usually serves as a strong indicator for Ascot.

For instance, horses with previous form at Ascot tend to do well at the Royal meeting, and the course holds a recognised trial for the Gold Cup in May - the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes over just shy of two miles. Several horses have gone on to follow up in the big race itself after winning this, with the most recent being Estimate in 2013. 

Meanwhile, the form of the first two classics of the season - the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket - regularly proves to have plenty of substance. Indeed, horses that figure in either of the Guineas tend to have a strong say in either the St  James's Palace Stakes (for the colts) or the Coronation Stakes (for the fillies) at Ascot. 

We'll be previewing each and every race at HorseRacing.net, so keep your eyes peeled for our Ascot Tips

Ascot Odds

Horses to watch out for in 2020

With the British Flat season currently in limbo due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it's difficult to gauge this year's crop of three-year-olds at this stage, with plenty of doubt surrounding the Guineas at Newmarket. However, one colt to watch this term will undoubtedly be the Champion two-year-old Pinatubo, who has won each of his six starts last term - including twice at Group 1 level - and he could be a superstar this season.

Of the older horses, it will be interesting to see how Stradviarius fares this season. The six-year-old is the undisputed king of the staying division, scooping the £1 million Stayers' Bonus for each of the last two years, though he was beaten by Kew Gardens in his final start of last season, and it will be interesting to see how he is campaigned this year.

Finally, Logician was something of a late bloomer last year, but he's won each of his five starts to date, and signed off with victory in the final classic of the campaign - the St Leger at Doncaster - when last seen. Connections are mooting a tilt at the top middle-distance races this season, meaning he could clash with fellow a Khalid Abdullah-owned star - the wondermare Enable...

Best Royal Ascot betting offers

Royal Ascot is a huge betting event, so it is no surprise that bookmakers will pull out all the stops to attract punters to them with enticing sign up offers. Firms will offer extra on the more competitive races at the Royal meeting to punters, such as the notoriously tricky Royal Hunt Cup, while some of the shorter-priced runners are usually available at enhanced prices, particularly in the Group 1 races. It's difficult to keep up with all of the Royal Ascot free bets at the best of times, so keep your eyes peeled on our dedicated hub on HorseRacing.net, where we will host all of the latest and best free bet offers and enhancements. 

Ascot Races

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