As we head into June we come up against one of the biggest horse racing markets meetings of the year, Royal Ascot 2019 is upon us! It is one of the highest profile race meetings that you get outside of the Grand National.

Royal Ascot – Setting the scene

Royal Ascot is an absolutely huge meeting. It runs from Tuesday to Saturday and it’s packed full of top-class racing.

Well know for the horse-drawn, royal procession, most of the races are carefully tagged Royal nomination, like the Diamond jubilee stakes. With the Queen watching on from the Royal Enclosure not only are we treated to high-quality racing, but, in normal times, it’s also one of the key social events of the year.

Royal Ascot tickets for the grandstand, where you can enjoy Michelin stars standard fine dining, as well as a good view; are expensive and tough to come by. But fortunately, there are plenty of other options available outside of the grandstand and even on the heath that is enclosed inside the Ascot racecourse. Wherever you are though, the dress code will be very strict.

This year is going to be very different with a much smaller crowd, less bookmaker interest and Euro 2020 championships on. So I think the markets will feel a bit weaker this year, epsecially with the lack of crowds at the course.

You may be interested to know that before and after Royal Ascot you can actually get access to the racecourse. Here is a video I did, which shows you how you can get access.

Betfair trading at Royal Ascot

There are plenty of ways to profit at Ascot. As you should know, my specialilty is pre race trading.

I turn up to the races at Ascot about 30 minutes before the racing post time on a big race like the Gold Cup and look at the price action and try and fit that to a trading system. If I do that well the results can be very rewarding and I’m assured of a profit regardless of who goes on to win. If I don’t do so well I try and cut out for the smallest possible loss. It’s the best way to profit from Royal Ascot.

Here are some top tips for trading Royal Ascot: –

6. Put your focus into Ascot

When you get a big race meeting like Royal Ascot it’s worth spending a lot of time putting your focus into those races when trading on a betting exchange. Of course, there will be other racing going on around there but the volume and the interest in Royal Ascot will take a little bit of activity away from the other race meetings that are on, on that particular day.

The first time I ever really went for it at Royal Ascot was in 2006 and I thought I did pretty well back then. But, as the years have passed I’ve got more and more confident which means there are more things I can figure out that work in these types of markets.

You do need to expect to get some good years and bad years depending upon how the markets behave. Some years can be pretty spectacular; when your focus is there, you get the right sort of markets and there are no interruptions then you can get some pretty spectacular totals. It is a key meeting for me and it’s something that I’m going to put a lot of focus into again, this year.

5. Some trades are obvious

One thing I’ll be doing is keeping an eye on the weather. You can’t unwater the ground so when the temperature rises and the thread of a downpour increases it’s worth keeping your eye on horses that don’t like softening ground.

We had a brilliant example at Ascot 2019 where Sea of Class was under constant threat of not running because of worsenening conditions. It did run, but guess what happened to the price?

Going changes are always worth keeping an eye on and if you do your homework, you can net a tidy profit from discounting their effect in the market.

4. Volume arrives early

When you’re actively trading on Betfair at Royal Ascot, volume arrives very early so you tend to find that after the previous race is finished – people start betting on the next race. This is one of those markets that you can actually trade for an extended period of time.

One of the things you know at big race meetings is you get some very large turnover races and that can be a problem because the market gets very congested. What tends to happen is the volume arrives much earlier and it tends to crush a lot of the other races that are around it, so you need to be aware of them.

Back in 2012, we had Frankel and Black Caviar running at very short odds, so the race with Frankel in it turned over about £6.5 million and the race with Black Caviar, which was a high profile feature race, actually turned over 12.5 million. However, be mindful that Ascot suffers the market can be pretty congested, so you may want to:

  • Start a little bit earlier
  • Adapt your style
  • Perhaps move away from the favourite

Obviously, as I’ve said before in other blogs, I love those big races, there are many options that you’ve got in other ways of trading these particular races, if you want to avoid the big ones.

3. Watch out for jockey trainer gambles

Keep your eyes on the jockey and the trainers who win at Royal Ascot because if there’s a little sequence of events that occurs it could drive interest in the next race.

When you mention Royal Ascot everybody remembers that Frankie Dettori won 7/7 races here in one of the most unprecedented feats in horse-racing. Now that’s not going to happen this year (or I hope it isn’t now that I’ve said that) but typically what can happen is you get jockey-trainer gamble’s occurring at major meetings. The last time that this happened was at Royal Ascot in 2015 when Ryan Moore won a few races and that set off a huge gamble on all of the subsequent horses within that particular card. So, keep your eye out during Royal Ascot if this is going to happen again, if you get one or two winners and some of the unexpected, or maybe at a decent price with a certain jockey-trainer partnership then that could happen again.

2. The week starts with a bang!

Royal Ascot is unusual, in that the biggest races of the week tend to occur on the Tuesday. There are very good quality races for the remainder of the week but it’s the first day of the Ascot Festival that tends to start with a bang.

Over the last 10 years, it’s turned over an average of about £65 million over the course of the meeting and the meeting runs from a Tuesday to a Saturday. Individual races probably turn over somewhere in the region of about £1.5 million and you get between about £12-15 million a day.

Curiously, unlike other big race meetings, Tuesday is actually one of the biggest days of the week. There is very high-quality group racing throughout that week –  absolutely huge meeting, huge turnover, very high-quality racing one of the biggest race meetings of the year.

1. Some years have a theme running through them

Typically when we look at a meeting that occurs when there’s a major football tournament on, the turnover and the activity in the market takes a bit of a hit. In 2021 we have a major football tournament taking place and as a consequence we expect volumes at Royal Ascot to be down on previous years.

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