RACING fan Tommy Buckley (@tbuckleythinks) has analysed all the odds of previous Royal Ascot winners, pointing out any key trends to follow from a price perspective ahead of the 2020 meeting.
Royal Ascot | Price Analysis | 16th-20th June 2020 | ITV
When the calendar turns over from May to June, my mind instantly starts ticking down to the start of Royal Ascot. For me, it's right up there amongst the biggest and best sporting events in the world.
Royal Ascot offers everything to the highest standard with regards to jockeys, trainers and horses, whilst the facilities, luxury and the all-important major races have a rich history to look back on, to enjoy, and to learn from.
In this piece I've gone through the results of three of my favourite Royal Ascot races: the Queen Anne Stakes, the Coventry Stakes and the King's Stand Stakes, to assess results since 2009 and note the Starting Prices (SPs) of the winners and second/third-placed horses.
The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have clearly had an impact on the racing schedule so clearly some line ups, form lines and preparation of horses have been affected but hopefully this piece will still help and inform in some way.
Queen Anne Stakes | Tuesday 16th June 2020, 14:30 | ITV
- 2009 – 10/3, 11/1 & 10/1
- 2010 – 118f, 11/4 & 50/1
- 2011 – 11/8, 5/4 & 14/1
- 2012 – 1/10f, 5/1 & 33/1
- 2013 – 15/2, 8/1 & 16/1
- 2014 – 4/5f, 6/1 & 9/1
- 2015 – 11/8f, 16/1 & 16/1
- 2016 – 11/2, 9/2 & 20/1
- 2017 – 11/10f, 5/1 & 12/1
- 2018 – 33/1, 20/1 & 10/1
- 2019 – 14/1, 20/1 & 20/1
Five of the last 11 renewals of the Queen Anne Stakes have been won by the favourite, all five were priced 11/8 or shorter.
From 2009 to 2017 every winner returned no bigger than 15/2 but last year the bookmakers were celebrating with a 33/1 winner, plus 20/1 and 10/1 places.
For those looking for large each-way options – apart from 2014 there has been at least one double-figure priced place in the first three in every year since 2009.
The last two renewals have produced incredible series of SPs for winners and places, the winners have been 33/1 and 14/1, the placed horses were 20/1, 10/1, 20/1 and 20/1, and in 2019 produced an Exact of £389.50 and an incredible Trifecta of £7,182.
Thoughts for 2020
At the time of writing this piece the 2020 renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes looks wide open and seriously competitive, in my opinion. Obviously the enforced break in racing and changed racing schedule is something that has added to the puzzle.
With regards to the current ante-post betting markets then Aidan O'Brien's impressive 2019 Royal Ascot winner Circus Maximus heads the market around 3/1 and given that the next in the betting is around the 8/1 mark then that suggests the bookmakers believe it's not as competitive as I do.
Fox Chairman is regarded as general second favourite at 8/1, Headman and Duke of Hazard on the 10/1 mark, recent smart winner Lord North sits around 12/1 along with Mustashry who was sent off 11/2 for this last year, Mohaather, Skardu and Roseman sit alongside on the same mark in the betting.
One Master was third at 20/1 last year and you can get 14/1 if you think he can go two places better, recent smart Newmarket winner Terebellum is on same mark of 14/1 and John Gosden's filly may well tempt many given the extra sweetener of the weight allowance.
ACCIDENTAL AGENT shocked most the racing world in 2018 by winning this race at 33/1 and if you think he can repeat history then you can get at least 50/1 to claim Group 1 glory again, what a story that would be given that he refused to race last year.
Personally speaking, I don't have a definitive selection idea just yet but I was a backer of Mustashry last year and his price of 12/1 does tempt me each-way, Circus Maximus did me a favour when winning at double-figure odds last year and he's class but I'm not sure he should be that far clear at head of market, would back him at 5/1+ but not 3/1.
Coventry Stakes | Saturday 20th June 2020, 15:05 | ITV
- 2009 – 7/4f, 20/1 & 28/1
- 2010 – 15/8f, 3/1 & 22/1
- 2011 – 4/1f, 10/1 & 14/1
- 2012 – 7/2, 20/1 & 13/2
- 2013 – 20/1, 16/1 & 6/1
- 2014 – 5/1, 6/1 & 12/1
- 2015 – 6/1, 7/2 & 12/1
- 2016 – 13/8f, 8/1 & 9/2
- 2017 – 11/1, 33/1 & 8/1
- 2018 – 2/1, 10/1 & 3/1
- 2019 – 15/8f, 4/1 & 6/1
For those that back the favourite, including 2009, five favourites have won the Coventry Stakes in the stated time period with three of those coming in consecutive years in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Favourite backers then had to wait five years to collect in the Coventry Stakes in 2016, thankfully the wait for the next favourite only lasted until last year as Arizona was smashed up in the betting ring to win at 15/8.
Nine of the last 11 winners of the Coventry Stakes were priced 6/1 or under and five of them 2/1 or under, a 20/1 winner in 2013 and an 11/1 winner in 2017 have been the only double-figure priced winners in the last 10 years.
From the last 22 horses to finish either second or third in the Coventry Stakes, 11 of them were double-figures SPs including five returning 20/1 or bigger.
Thoughts for 2020
The racing calendar and schedule being effected by Coronavirus will be a phrase that has to be repeated because that's the truth and it's something that has to be considered as a real factor, particularly with two year-old races. Given that many of the runners have only had their first runs inside the last two weeks, it just makes the puzzle harder to solve.
That said it looks set to be another very exciting renewal because the two-year Royal Ascot contests are always exciting, rammed with so much potential of future stardom ready to let loose at Ascot.
I've personally only seen a few of the two-year-old contests live this season and I have to say I was really taken by the Newmarket maiden won by Godolphin's CREATIVE FORCE and I just loved the way he bounded out to make most of the running to stay on well to win with a bit to spare, making it easy to see why he's at the head of the market at around 8/1.
From that same Newmarket race that day, DARK LION was favourite to win it but finished fourth and he's a 16/1 shot to turn around that form.
Poetic Flare sits not far behind in the market, indeed level with Creative Force in some places, and I have seen people speaking with confidence about Jim Bolger's 5f Naas maiden winner. If you fancy Poetic Flare then you'll have to also consider Lipizzaner who finished close behind at Naas, Lipizzaner does have other potential targets at Ascot so be careful.
Eye of Heaven was an impressive winner over 5f at Newmarket and was pushed out to win so the Coventry Stakes trip should be fine and his prices ranges from 8/1 to 12/1.
The Coventry Stakes is one of my favourite Ascot races and although this year's renewal is a more complex affair because of the changes to the racing schedule, the race looks full of exciting two-year-olds and I'll be really looking forward to watching it, it will depend on final entries before making a definitive decision but I was really impressed by CREATIVE FORCE and right now I'd have him as my main interest and contender.
King's Stand Stakes | Tuesday 18th June 2020, 15:40 | ITV
- 2009 – 11/4f, 7/2 & 33/1
- 2010 – 9/2, 14/1 & 16/1
- 2011 – 7/1, 6/1 & 16/1
- 2012 – 12/1, 11/2 & 8/1
- 2013 – 8/1, 11/4f & 10/1
- 2014 – 5/1, 50/1 & 3/1
- 2015 – 20/1, 50/1 & 3/1
- 2016 – 4/1, 33/1 & 50/1
- 2017 – 7/2, 14/1 & 11/4f
- 2018 – 6/1, 9/4 & 20/1
- 2019 – 5/2, 2/1f & 16/1
Favourites actually have a poor record in the King's Stand Stakes, going right to the early 1990s. The last winning favourite was in 2009 .
Even though favourites have had a poor record in the contest, those sitting second, third or fourth in the betting have done very well as nine of the last 11 winners have been priced 8/1 or under – the two real surprises came in 2012 with a 12/1 winner and 2015 via a 20/1 shot.
Big-priced each-way backers have scope to have a go too as the results show that there have been 12 double-figure prices placed second or third with three returning at 50/1 and two at 33/1.
Thoughts for 2020
Last year BLUE POINT won it impressively to delight all backers including those that read my ante-post piece for Ascot last year and if there is one horse I'd bring back from recent times it would be Blue Point to have a go at the hat-trick, but he's enjoying a well deserved retirement.
Anyway, with regards to this year of course and the market has a clear short price leader in the shape of the brilliant speedball BATAASH. For many, he'll be the banker of the week, the question is can he show his blistering best and can he defy the curse of favourites in this race.
I'll be personally more interested in a few each-way plays at prices, I'm a fan of EQUILATERAL and I was all over him ante-post for the Group 1 Al Quoz that never happened at Meydan so I'll definitely take an interested in him for this around 16/1/1 – I think that price is too big if he shows his best.
I'm also a Liberty Beach fan and she looked really good when winning last week. Yes this is a step up in class, but she's got class and is very fast, 14/1 is enough for me to consider a small each-way play.
The two horses that sit in the market between those already mentioned are the talented and classy GLASS SLIPPERS who is around 7/1 and Oxted who won at Newmarket last week at a best priced 12/1, generally 10/1.