Favourites Expected to Dominate Royal Ascot 2017
Racing punters are gearing up for another enthralling Royal Ascot this year and putting their money behind a number of well-backed favourites at the festival. 2016 was a forgettable year for bookmakers with a number of favourites obliging and history could repeat itself just 12 months later.
There was just one winning favourite on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2016 as Caravaggio secured the Coventry Stakes but as the festival progressed a number of well-backed fancies romped home to make it a memorable five days for punters.
The aforementioned Caravaggio is back for another crack and has once again been installed at the head of the market for the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup. Aidan O’Brien’s charge performed superbly at Naas at the end of May and looks likely to justify his favourite tag once more. The sprinter will be required to see off the challenge of Harry Angel and Blue Point but pundits are confident Caravaggio can make it back-to-back festival successes.
The Ascot Gold Cup is one of the many highlights on the card and requires plenty of stamina. Order of St George is well-fancied for the race over 2 miles and 4 furlongs and is yet another Aidan O’Brien runner expected to make-all here. Bookmakers will be hoping the French horse Vazirabad can provide adequate competition for the stayer.
Whilst the O’Brien yard is expected to dominate the festival headlines once again, Richard Fahey has a strong contingent heading to Berkshire. Ribchester is his best chance of success and is a familiar name to festival-goers. The three-year-old was successful in the Jersey Stakes twelve months ago and looks the one to beat in this year’s Queen Anne Stakes. He can be backed at 5/6 in the horse racing betting markets for Royal Ascot and is likely to be the cornerstone of many festival accumulators.
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One of the shortest prices of the five days could be Churchill who lines up in the St James’ Palace Stakes and can currently be backed at an odds-on price. The unbeaten seven-year-old is likely to be popular with on-course punters and his versatility could help keep his wonderful record in tact.
Lady Aurelia is another 2016 victor who returns to the Berkshire venue. Wesley Ward brings his admirable string over from the USA, with the Keeneland winner the standout horse. She impressed in the 2016 renewal of the Queen Mary Stakes and as a result has been priced up as favourite for the King’s Stand Stakes this time around. The American trainer also saddles Bound for Nowhere, Happy Like a Fool and McErin.
Finally, another Irish raider that is fancied to make all in the Coronation Stakes is Winter. The stablemate of Churchill is currently odds-on and is bred for success at this level. She’s a versatile sort and punters are keeping this one on-side.
Bettors are gearing up for a profitable festival with many savvy punters already securing larger prices on many of these runners. The favourites are expected to dominate once again with trainer Aidan O’Brien predicted to be a regular fixture in the world-famous Royal Ascot winners enclosure.