Frankie Dettori is the leading jockey at Royal Ascot at the end of the 2020 meeting which took place behind closed doors. One of his Group wins was aboard Stradivarius in the Gold Cup and the three-time winner of that race appears in the betting for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. If Stradivarius does run in Europe’s most important all-aged Flat race at Longchamp in the autumn, Dettori will have to choose between the colt and Enable who had has ridden to two wins in the Arc.
Dettori has now been the top rider at the Royal meeting seven times. He tied with Jim Crowley on six wins but wins the title because he had more placed horses. The most famous jockey in the world won the Coronation Stakes on Alpine Star which means he has won all the Current Group 1 contests at Royal Ascot.
The leading trainer is John Gosden who sent out six winners which left him two ahead of Aidan O’Brien and Roger Varian.
There were eight Group 1 races at Royal Ascot this year out of a total of 19 Group races. In terms of winning distances, Stradivarius was the best winner in the Gold Cup. The horse was also the shortest priced winner of the highest grade races. Here is a betting record of the Group 1 races at Royal Ascot in 2020:
|Race||Winner’s Starting Price (SP)||Starting Price (SP) of Favourite||Favourite’s Placing|
|Queen Anne Stakes||+400||+400||Winner|
|King Stand Stakes||-120||-120||Winner|
|Prince of Wales’s Stakes||+500||+150||Fourth|
|St James’s Palace Stakes||+400||+137.5||Second|
|Diamond Jubilee Stakes||+400||+200||Third|
Backing the eight Starting Price (SP) favourites blindly in these races for 10 units equates to a total stake of 80 units. These bets delivered a return of 86.3 units for a return on investment of 7.9%. A similar strategy focusing on the third favourites delivered a healthier profit but that’s the benefit of hindsight!
The Group races overall were dominated by the best trainers and jockeys who often deliver the goods when it matters most. So, the standings at the end of the most prestigious Flat meeting in the world are as follows if you only include races at Group level (1, 2 or 3):
|Trainer||Number of winners|
|Aidan O’Brien||3||Clive Cox||2||Others||8|
|Jockey||Number of winners|
|Ryan Moore||3||Jim Crowley||3||Adam Kirby||2||Others||5|
Special mention must be given to jumps trainer, Alan King, who won two of the three longest races. Thore Hammer Hansen was the only claiming jockey to ride a winner. Hayley Turner won the Sandringham Stakes for the second successive year. However, Gosden and Dettori were the stars of the show.
You would assume that the cream would come to the top in the best Flat races and the horses prominent in the betting would produce the goods. The following statistics give a feel to how the betting market got things right in the 19 Group races at Royal Ascot this year:
- The average price of the winners: over +1200. Please note if you disregard the +15000 winner the same average is about +500.
- Range of Starting Prices: -125 to +15000.
- Number of outright and joint favourites: 3.
- Odds-on favourites: 2.
- Double-figure priced winners: 2.
- Most common range of odds: 9 winners from +400 to +500.
Winning a Group 1 race opens up many opportunities for a horse. The outcomes in these eight races at Royal Ascot have affected the ante post markets for upcoming major races. Stradivarius getting in the mix for the Arc is important news but other winners now enter the picture for future Group 1’s, including the Derby and Oaks which take place on July 4th at Epsom Racecourse.
Palace Pier (+1400) and Russian Emperor (+1600) have been cut for the Derby while Alpine Star is on offer at +3300 for the Oaks. Lord North enters the equation for the Eclipse at +1400. Golden Horde is the current favourite for the July Cup at +350 for which Hello Youmzain is now prominent in the betting. Stradivarius to win the Arc at +4000 is the most intriguing betting news to emerge from Royal Ascot 2020. Connections have entered the horse for the Paris race.
Does Dettori dump the Gosden-trained filly Enable, the +600 favourite, in favour of his favourite male horse? Surely, he can’t desert Enable who is going for a unique third Arc win. That means one jockey will pick up the spare ride on Stradivarius in the race. The favourite must be Ryan Moore but he rides for O’Brien so has his foot firmly in the other camp. Oisin Murphy could be the beneficiary. However, next June given a run, you won’t be able to keep Frankie off Stradivarius in the Gold Cup.