Royal Ascot 2020: Your ultimate guide including where to watch, how to bet and what to expect

Royal Ascot 2020: Your ultimate guide including where to watch, how to bet and what to expect


With Royal Ascot getting underway on Tuesday there is much to look out for over what should be a jam-packed five days.

Here is our armchair guide for what to expect, and even what might be different this year with the event taking place behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

WHERE TO WATCH

ITV4 — The Opening Show (9.30am).

ITV — Live coverage (1.30-5pm each day).

Hosted by Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani with Mick Fitzgerald, Jason Weaver and Luke Harvey.

SKY SPORTS RACING (Sky 415; Virgin 418)

Coverage starts at 9am and includes all races. Presented by Alex Hammond with Jim McGrath, Hayley Moore, Josh Apiafi and Freddy Tylicki. Interviews by Matt Chapman shared by both channels.

WHERE TO LISTEN

talkSport 2 (1-5pm)

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (2.55-4.20pm)

First Receiver represents the best chance of a royal winner in the Hampton Court Stakes

WHAT YOU WILL SEE AND WHAT YOU WON’T

No spectators or owners, with protocols allowing only a groom and trainer, or their representative, per horse. No more than 500 people a day on track. The meeting usually has 300,000 spectators over the five days.

Face coverings to be worn by all whose jobs mean they have to get within 2m of each other, such as starting stalls handlers. Traditional Royal Ascot dress codes have been suspended.

No royal procession or presentations, with the Queen — missing her first Royal Ascot in her 68-year reign — expected to watch on TV at Windsor Castle.

Field sizes limited to 24 per race. Overseas runners allowed in races at Listed level and above but not handicaps. 

HOW TO BET

Bets can be placed with all major bookmakers online, while shops in England re-opened Monday. The Tote will be placed into international super pools on all 36 races with bets from Hong Kong and other leading racing nations.

Last year’s World Pool saw pools grow from £17.9million in 2018 to £92.2m.

TOP ROYAL ASCOT JOCKEYS

Frankie Dettori (67 wins)

Best rides: Frankly Darling (Ribblesdale Stakes, Tuesday); King Leonidas (Jersey Stakes, Thursday); Stradivarius (Gold Cup, Thursday); Eye Of Heaven (Norfolk Stakes, Friday); Sceptical (Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Saturday).

Ryan Moore (58 wins)

Best rides: Circus Maximus (Queen Anne Stakes, Tuesday); Mogul (King Edward VII Stakes, Tuesday); Jubiloso (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday); Japan (Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Wednesday); Wichita (St James’s Palace Stakes, Saturday).

William Buick (23 wins)

Best rides: Barney Roy (Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Wednesday); Modern News (Chesham Stakes, Thursday); West End Charmer (Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, Friday); Creative Force (Coventry Stakes, Saturday); Pinatubo (St James’s Palace Stakes, Saturday).

James Doyle (13 wins)

Best rides: Skardu (Queen Anne Stakes, Tuesday); Miss O’Connor (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday); Wejdan (Sandringham Stakes, Thursday); Golden Melody (Albany Stakes, Friday); Sacred (Queen Mary Stakes, Saturday).

Sir Michael Stoute, pictured with Crystal Ocean, is the top Royal Ascot trainer with 81 wins

Sir Michael Stoute, pictured with Crystal Ocean, is the top Royal Ascot trainer with 81 wins

TOP ROYAL ASCOT TRAINERS

Sir Michael Stoute, right (81 wins)

Best runners: Mustashry (Queen Anne Stakes, Tuesday); Queen Power (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday); Jubiloso (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday); First Receiver (Hampton Court Stakes, Wednesday); Laafy (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Friday).

Aidan O’Brien (70 wins)

Best runners: Circus Maximus (Queen Anne Stakes, Tuesday); Mogul (King Edward VII Stakes, Tuesday): Japan (Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Wednesday); More Beautiful (Albany Stakes, Friday); Anthony Van Dyck (Hardwicke Stakes, Friday); Peaceful (Coronation Stakes, Saturday).

John Gosden (49 wins)

Best runners: Frankly Darling (Ribblesdale Stakes, Tuesday); Nazeef (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday); Stradivarius (Gold Cup, Thursday); King Leonidas (Jersey Stakes, Thursday); Palace Pier (St James’s Palace Stakes, Saturday).

Mark Johnson (45 wins)

Best runners: Rochester House (Ascot Stakes, Tuesday); Golden Flame (Chesham Stakes, Thursday); Eye of Heaven (Norfolk Stakes, Friday); Elarqam (Hardwicke Stakes, Friday), Qaader (Coventry Stakes, Saturday).

QUEEN’S RUNNERS

FIRST RECEIVER (Hampton Court Stakes, Wednesday).

Represents the best chance of a royal winner after bolting up by seven lengths at Kempton on June 2. Could be a Derby contender if he wins this.

TACTICAL (Windsor Castle Stakes, Wednesday).

Attracting support in the betting and will hopefully have learnt from her debut second behind the impressive Eye Of Heaven at Newmarket.

PUNCTUATION (Queen’s Vase, Friday)

Steps up in trip and moves down handicap level after finding things happening too quickly over a mile and a quarter at Newmarket.

OVERSEAS CHALLENGERS

Travel restrictions mean fewer runners from outside Britain and Ireland but a significant handful have made the effort.

UNITED STATES

SUNSHINE CITY (Windsor Castle Stakes, Wednesday)

Trainer: Wesley Ward

One of seven two-year-olds representing trainer Ward, who has had 10 royal meeting winners. Frankie Dettori is booked for this filly, who won on her Gulfstream Park debut in Florida in April.

SHARING (Coronation Stakes, Saturday).

Trainer: Graham Motion

Decisive winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in California. Had a successful warm-up race at Churchill Downs last month for her ex-pat trainer.

KIMARI (Commonwealth Cup, Friday).

Trainer: Wesley Ward 

Three-time winner who was second in last season’s Queen Mary Stakes and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

FRANCE

WASMYA (Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Tuesday)

Trainer: Francis Graffard

Trainer had first royal meeting winner last year and Dettori is booked to ride this lightly-raced filly.

CELESTIN (Jersey Stakes, Thursday).

Trainer: Fabrice Chappet

His decision to drop the French 2,000 Guineas fourth back from a mile to seven furlongs looks the right move.

WOODED (Commonwealth Cup, Friday).

Trainer: Francis Graffard

Another Graffard-trained entry who won a Group Three sprint at Chantilly last month by three-and-a-half lengths. Puts him in the mix.

Tuesday Feature Race Odds 

1:50pm – Queen Anne Stakes

85/40- Circus Maximus

10/3- Terebellum

13/2- Fox Chairman

9/1- Skardu

10/1- Duke of Hazzard

12/1- Mohaather

12/1- Mustashry

12/1- Roseman

14/1- Billesdon Brook

14/1- Space Traveller

16s BAR

3:35pm – King’s Stand Stakes

4/6- Battaash

4/1- Glass Slippers

7/1- Equilateral

9/1- Liberty Beach

20/1- Shades of Blue

25/1- Rocket Action

25/1- Tis Marvellous

33/1- Hit the Bid

33/1 Kurious

33/1- Sergei Prokofiev

33/1- Well Done Fox

*Odds from Betfair 



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