Last week Coral published its list of the 40 top betting races for 2017 based on shop turnover. It contained a few surprises.
What wasn’t surprising, of course, was that the Grand National was at the top. It stands head and shoulders above any other race. It’s the ‘people’s race’, always was and always will be. For many, it’s the one time of the year they’ll bet on a horse race. People who don’t know Derby Day from Pancake Day will still put a bet on the Grand National.
Of the ‘normal’ races, the Cheltenham Gold Cup took second place, as was the case last year. But what is surprising is that all seven races on Gold Cup day featured in the 25 top betting races of the year. That includes the Foxhunters, the Martin Pipe Hurdle and the Grand Annual. It reveals that on Gold Cup day the betting shop punters stayed put for the whole afternoon. They had a bet on every race.
Altogether, 20 of Coral’s top betting races took place at the Cheltenham Festival. That fact alone is proof of its importance to the betting industry
Summer Group 1s now among the top betting races
The Derby had the biggest betting shop turnover of all Flat races. No surprise there. Last year’s Derby was the most open for a long time, with a 7/2 favourite (Cracksman) and two joint second favs at 5/1. A 40/1 shot won it, a great result for the bookies.
What is surprising, though, is the rise in popularity of three of the summer’s Group 1s: the Eclipse, the July Cup and the ‘King George’. The Eclipse was the sixth most popular betting race, the ‘King George’ was at number 15 and the July Cup at 23.
All five Classics made the top 30 top betting races. However, only four of Royal Ascot’s made the top 40. Further proof, if needed, of how punters prefer betting on Cheltenham than Ascot.