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blogjersey stakes tops 2024 royal ascot races by betting turnover with coral

Jersey Stakes Tops 2024 Royal Ascot Races by Betting Turnover with Coral

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Royal Ascot races

Of all Royal Ascot races this year, the Jersey Stakes on the Saturday of the prestigious meeting saw most engagement from Coral punters. This follows the publication of a betting turnover table by the retail and online bookmaker. It ranks all 35 contests at the five-day horse racing gala held in front of the King and Queen.

Analysis of the 2024 Royal Ascot races must be prefixed by the fact that the event competed with the group stage of Euro 2024. The finals of that football tournament meant channel-hopping for horse racing fans in and around 2pm and 5pm kick-offs in Germany.

At first glance, a 7f Group 3 contest for three-year-olds like the Jersey doesn’t look the most obvious chart topper. This race had two things going for it, however. Firstly, a clash and rematch between two high-profile horses where connections revealed it as a target beforehand.

We’re talking Haatem and previous Royal Ascot winner River Tiber here. The pair finished second and third behind Rosallion in the Irish 2000 Guineas a month prior. Secondly, a field of 19 runners meant extra places paid each way on horse racing betting sites and a good shape to the market for that.

After Coral released this information into the public domain, we have the rankings table below. This shows all 35 races, their ranking in 2023 and the difference between them. It also highlights the type of event.

2024 Royal Ascot Races by Betting Turnover Table

2024 Ranking 2023 Ranking Difference Race Name When Race Type
1st 3rd +2 Jersey Saturday, 4:25 3yo only Group 3
2nd 11th +9 Chesham Saturday, 2:30 2yo only Listed
3rd 13th +10 St James’s Palace Tuesday, 4:25 3yo colts Group 1
4th 15th +11 Norfolk Thursday, 2:30 2yo only Group 2
5th 20th +15 Albany Friday, 2:30 2yo fillies Group 3
6th 1st -5 Wokingham Saturday, 5:05 3yo+ Heritage Handicap
7th 2nd -5 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Saturday, 3:45 4yo+ Group 1
8th 4th -4 Gold Cup Thursday, 4:25 4yo+ Group 1
9th 17th +8 Duke Of Edinburgh Friday, 4:25 3yo+ Handicap
10th 21st +11 Prince Of Wales’s Wednesday, 4:25 4yo+ Group 1
11th 5th -6 Royal Hunt Cup Wednesday, 5:05 3yo+ Heritage Handicap
12th 19th +7 Coventry Tuesday, 3:05 2yo only Group 2
13th 27th +14 King Charles III Tuesday, 3:45 4yo+ Group 1
14th 26th +12 Queen Mary Wednesday, 2:30 2yo fillies Group 2
15th 14th -1 Buckingham Palace Thursday, 6:15 3yo+ Handicap
16th 6th -10 Palace Of Holyrood House Friday, 6:15 3yo only Handicap
17th 8th -9 Hardwicke Saturday, 3:05 4yo+ Group 2
18th 22nd +4 Ribblesdale Thursday, 3:45 3yo fillies Group 2
19th 16th -3 Coronation Friday,  3:45 3yo fillies Group 1
20th 10th -10 Britannia Thursday, 5:05 3yo only Heritage Handicap
21st 7th -14 Sandringham Friday, 5:05 3yo fillies Handicap
22nd 32nd +10 Queen Anne Tuesday, 2:30 4yo+ Group 1
23rd 25th +2 King George V Thursday, 3:05 3yo only Heritage Handicap
24th 9th -15 Commonwealth Cup Friday, 3:05 3yo colts & fillies Group 1
25th 12th -13 Golden Gates Saturday, 5:40 3yo only handicap
26th 28th +2 Hampton Court Thursday, 5:40 3yo only Group 3
27th 24th -3 King Edward VII Friday, 5:40 3yo colts & geldings Group 2
28th 23rd -5 Ascot Stakes Tuesday, 5:05 4yo+ Heritage Handicap
29th 18th -11 Copper Horse Tuesday, 6:15 4yo+ Handicap
30th 35th +5 Kensington Palace Wednesday, 5:40 4yo+ fillies & mares Handicap
31st 29th -2 Windsor Castle Wednesday, 6:15 2yo only Listed
32nd 31st -1 Queen Alexandra Saturday, 6:15 4yo+ Conditions
33rd 34th +1 Duke Of Cambridge Wednesday, 3:45 4yo+ fillies & mares Group 2
34th 33rd -1 Wolferton Tuesday, 5:45 4yo+ Listed
35th 30th -5 Queen’s Vase Wednesday, 3:05 3yo only Group 2

Juvenile Royal Ascot Races Performing Well

There are plenty of take-outs from Coral’s data. High betting turnover for half (three) of the six juvenile only (two-year-old) events is of interest. Punters know precious little about the young horses competing in such races.

All they have to go on when wagering on the best betting sites is the jockey, owner, trainer, pedigree and sales price. Yet that clearly hasn’t deterred people from taking a punt. Impressive performances from well-backed Aidan O’Brien duo Fairy Godmother (Albany) and Bedtime Story (Chesham) perhaps explain their top five presence.

Three juvenile Royal Ascot races amongst the biggest betting turnover reveals a lot about punter attitudes. Each event opened their respective day of the meeting. Earlier on in the festival, however, the two-year-old contests went to big outsiders.

Saturday’s All Right for Betting

While each day had one event amongst the top 10, betting turnover rankings indicate Ascot saved the best until last. Saturday was responsible for four of the seven most wagered contests including the top two. The Jersey and Chesham, perhaps coincidentally both over the specialists’ distance of 7f, had that honour.

Joining them from final day Royal Ascot races were the two big sprints in the Wokingham Heritage Handicap and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, so large fields and fast horses paint a picture of what punters like. We’ll touch on race distances in further analysis below.

It’s also notable that four of the top five events were ones that kicked off the card. First race specials and betting offers like money back as a free bet are common with bookies during a festival like this. Wagering on the opening contest successfully can set punters up for the rest of the day.

Group 1 Royal Ascot Races Matter

Four of the top 10 most bet on events were Group 1s. This is the highest level of competition in Flat horse racing. Such contests naturally attract the best thoroughbreds. Headed by the St James’s Palace Stakes for three-year-old colts in third on the overall list, the others were for older horses.

Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday’s feature Group 1 Royal Ascot races attracted plenty of betting turnover. The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes had Auguste Rodin as the headline act in it. Kyprios enjoyed similar star billing in the Gold Cup, while the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes was more open.

Handicaps on the Wane

In 2023, five of the top 10 events by turnover were handicaps. Just two of the big-field races got in amongst the upper echelons this time. The Wokingham Stakes remains popular, although dropping five spots to sixth from first. Despite the favourite delivering in the Royal Hunt Cup, Wednesday’s big Heritage Handicap over the straight mile dropped out the top 10.

This reflects a broad trend of punters not engaging with handicaps as much. More Royal Ascot races of this type have been added to the programme since 2020. Also notably dropping in the betting turnover table were the Palace Of Holyrood House and Britannia Stakes (both down 10), plus heavier declines for the Copper Horse (11), Golden Gates (13) and Sandringham Stakes (falling 14).

It may be that there are simply too many handicaps for punters at the Royal meeting to get stuck into now. These events are by and large ultra-competitive, with two joint and as many outright favourites obliging in them during the week. Handicaps tend to be more difficult for punters, so that may explain their lack of engagement.

Wednesday Undercard a Hard Sell

What will definitely disturb officials is the number of Royal Ascot races on the second day lower down the table. Four of the seven events on the second day of the meeting occupied the bottom six spots for betting turnover. This paints a worse picture than last year. In 2023, the same four races were in the bottom seven for punter engagement.

Betting turnover was lowest this year on the Queen’s Vase, a recognised St Leger trial and for future Gold Cup horses. Just above that in 33rd spot, but up one place from 2023, is the Duke Of Cambridge. This is a fillies and mares only Group 2. Another gender restricted event to females, the Kensington Palace, has climbed off the bottom into 30th.

Curiously, one of the juvenile races that punters didn’t engage with was the Windsor Castle Stakes. This is the final race on Wednesday. There is definitely some work to do for race organisers to make this day and its card more attractive to punters. A lack of highly rated fillies and mares may explain the Duke Of Cambridge proving so unpopular.

Commonwealth Cup Suffers from Absentees

None of the Royal Ascot races dropped more sharply through the rankings table than the Commonwealth Cup. Friday’s co-feature race is a Group 1 sprint restricted to three-year-old colts and fillies, but fell 15 spots. The problem this year was long-time ante post favourite Vandeek missed the race and so did fancied Irish raider Bucanero Fuerte.

Without those hot prospects, the event perhaps lacked the appropriate depth. Inisherin won in their absence. The Commonwealth Cup wasn’t the least popular race on the penultimate day with punters, though. That was the King Edward VII Stakes, another three-year-old only contest but for colts and geldings.

Despite a well-backed but ultimately disappointing favourite in Diego Velazquez, the “Ascot Derby” as it used to be known just didn’t do it for punters. The King Edward attracted 14 runners, which was the same as jumped off in the Commonwealth Cup.

Tuesday’s Wolferton Stakes, arguably the toughest Listed race anywhere in the British Isles, and the Queen Alexandra, which brings the Royal meeting to a close, remain low priorities for punters.

Longer-Distance Royal Ascot Races Not Attracting Bets

With the notable exception of the Gold Cup, Coral’s betting turnover data paints a very worrying picture for longer events. Only three of the top 16 races punters wagered on had distances of further than a mile. Just one middle-distance handicap featured among those, the Duke Of Edinburgh.

Apart from the Gold Cup and Prince of Wales, you have to look in midtable to the Hardwicke and Ribblesdale for the mile-and-a-half Group races. Punters clearly prefer betting on sprints with eight of the top 16 contested over 5f or 6f. This may reveal a taste for fast and furious action that only lasts around one minute.

Restricted races by gender, apart from for two-year-olds, didn’t go down well with punters either. Events for three-year-old fillies or older females were all amongst the bottom half of the table. Drawing firm conclusions from a single edition of Royal Ascot races may too small a data sample for some analysists, but is the most recent information we have.

Michael Lee
Michael Lee
Michael Lee

Michael has worked in the sports betting industry for many years. Following football, horse racing and track and field athletics, he has covered the last three Olympic Games, World Cups and other major sporting events.

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