According to one leading betting company, as much as £500m could be bet across the UK this week. That’s because two England World Cup matches bookend Royal Ascot. They estimate punters will spend £30-40m per day at Ascot, with the total of bets placed heading towards £200m. Meanwhile, England’s games with Tunisia and Panama complete a betting frenzy that could see total stakes climb to around half a billion. When the World Cup coincides with Royal Ascot it results in the biggest betting week of the year. However, this year is even more special. The betting firm reckons “With England games kicking off and closing a week that has Royal Ascot sandwiched in between, we could be set to see around half a billion pounds bet in just seven days.” World Cup fever will be even stronger since England’s opening game win over Tunisia.
Paul Jones’ views on Royal Ascot
Pro punter and author Paul Jones likes Royal Ascot best of all the summer festival meetings. He says, Ascot “attracts the best horses, trained to peak for the occasion”. Also, Ascot is a good track and produces good summer ground. That means fewer hard luck stories, at least in theory. Having said that, the draw can sometimes be a factor in straight course handicaps. In fact, the draw bias can change from day to day. In particular, be aware of overnight watering.
Writing in his book ‘From Soba to Moldova’, Jones maintains that at the big festivals on the Flat and over jumps, it often pays to stick with a stable that made a good start to the meeting. He notes: “Pricewise regularly tips up horses throughout the meeting from yards that had a good opening day.”
That, of course, was John Gosden, who trained three first-day winners. Pricewise has not tipped any of his horses today. However, Cracksman will surely give Gosden a fourth success at the meeting in today’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes.