Royal Ascot is one of the biggest events in the UK’s horse racing calendar. Here, Peter Watton from OddsMonkey shares everything you need to know, from when it’ll take place, to how you can decide which horses to bet on.

Founded by Queen Anne, Royal Ascot is a prestigious horse racing meet that has been held annually since 1711. In fact, it’s such a big event that Queen Elizabeth attends and arrives in a horse-drawn carriage each year.

Whether you’re thinking about going along to Royal Ascot for the first time this year, or you’re simply looking to bet on some of the races, I’m going to provide you with all of the information you need.

When and where will Royal Ascot 2019 be held?

As always, Royal Ascot 2019 will be held at Ascot Racecourse, High Street, Ascot, SL5 7JX. The event will span five days, from Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 June, and there are six races planned for each day.

Which races will we see at Royal Ascot 2019?

As I’ve previously mentioned, Royal Ascot will span five days, and we’ll see six races on each of those. Here’s a breakdown of when each of them will take place.

Day 1 — Tuesday 18 June 2019

This year’s Royal Ascot will kick off with the Queen Anne Stakes, which commemorates how the event got its start. If the history books are to be believed, Queen Anne once rode her horse from Windsor Castle to Ascot and declared that it would be a good place for a race. And, that’s why the racecourse was built. Here’s the schedule for the first day:

  • 2:30pm – The Queen Anne Stakes (1m)
  • 3:05pm – The Coventry Stakes (6f)
  • 3:40pm – The King’s Stand Stakes (5f)
  • 4:20pm – The St James’s Palace Stakes (1m)
  • 5:00pm – The Ascot Stakes (2m 4f)
  • 5:35pm – The Wolferton Rated Stakes (1m 2f)

Day 2 – Wednesday 19 June 2019

  • 2:30pm – The Queen Mary Stakes (5f)
  • 3:05pm – The Queen’s Vase (1m 6f)
  • 3:40pm – The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (1m)
  • 4:20pm – The Prince of Wales’ Stakes (1m 2f)
  • 5:00pm – The Royal Hunt Cup (1m)
  • 5:35pm – The Windsor Castle Stakes (5f)

Day 3 – Thursday 20 June 2019

Day 3 is also known as Gold Cup Day, as well as Ladies’ Day. Over the years, this day has become particularly famous for the incredible dresses and millinery that tend to be on show. But, of course, there are also the six horse races:

  • 2:30pm – The Norfolk Stakes (5f)
  • 3:05pm – The Hampton Court Stakes (1m 2f)
  • 3:40pm – The Ribblesdale Stakes (1m 4f)
  • 4:20pm – The Gold Cup (2m 4f)
  • 5:00pm – The Britannia Stakes (1m)
  • 5:35pm – The King George V Stakes (1m 4f)

Day 4 – Friday 21 June 2019

  • 2:30pm – The Albany Stakes (6f)
  • 3:05pm – The King Edward VII Stakes (1m 4f)
  • 3:40pm – The Commonwealth Cup (6f)
  • 4:20pm – The Coronation Stakes (1m)
  • 5:00pm – The Sandringham Stakes (1m)
  • 5:35pm – The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (1m 4f)

Day 5 – Saturday 22 June 2019

We’ll see a spectacular end to this year’s Royal Ascot on the Saturday, with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, which is one of the world’s greatest international spring races. If there’s one race you bet on, make it this one. Here’s how the day will look:

  • 2:30pm – the Chesham Stakes (7f)
  • 3:05pm – The Jersey Stakes (7f)
  • 3:40pm – The Hardwicke Stakes (1m 4f)
  • 4:20pm – The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6f)
  • 5:00pm – The Wokingham Stakes (6f)
  • 5:35pm – The Queen Alexandra Stakes (2m 6f)

When should you place your bets for Royal Ascot?

Everyone has their own tactics when it comes to betting on the Royal Ascot races. Some people will make their decision as soon as the lists of runners come out, while others will wait until the day of the race in question.

Each strategy has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which approach is going to work best for you. Declarations for Royal Ascot are announced 48 hours ahead of the event, which means this is when the final lists of running horses are released. However, the betting market opens well in advance of this, which means you can choose your winners before we even have a clear idea of who will be racing.  This is called ante-post betting and, if you go down this route, you’ll typically find that the odds are particularly good. However, you do run the risk of picking a horse that ultimately won’t run.

If you wait until the declarations have been made, or even until the day of a particular race, the odds usually won’t be as good. But, you can bet in the confidence that your chosen horse is more than likely to run. And, some bookmakers will actually offer you a refund if you bet on a horse that drops out after the final declarations — just make sure you check the small print, so you know whether this is the case.

How should you choose your winners?

People have different ways of choosing which horses to bet on, too. Here are just some of the most popular techniques you could use:

  • Choose blind: It’s possible to analyse all of the information available to you and still pick the wrong horse. So, if you’re simply in it for the fun or will be picking your horse last minute and don’t have a great deal of time to make your decision, why not just choose blind? Of course, whether you win or not will be entirely down to chance — but a lot of horse racing fans believe this to be the case regardless.
  • Consider the odds: The odds bookmakers offer can be an indication of how likely a horse is to win. Of course, this isn’t an exact science, but low odds tend to show that a horse is believed to have a decent chance of winning, while those with higher odds are considered outsiders. Although, of course, the odds you bet on will also determine how good of a return you get if your chosen horse wins. So, while backing one of the favourites might give you a better chance of winning, you’ll make more of a profit if you back an outlier who pulls it out the bag.
  • Take tips: Tipsters are horse betting veterans who will analyse all of the horses running in a particular race and give their predictions, sometimes for free but often for a fee. If you don’t have the time to carry out your own research, this is a great way of making an informed decision.
  • Research the horses yourself: If you have time to spare, you can always carry out plenty of your own research before settling on your winner. The Racing Post has all of the stats about each horse that you’ll need, so you compare all of the runners and make an informed decision about which one you think is most likely to win.

So, there you have it: everything you’ll need to know about Royal Ascot if you’re attending or planning to bet on the races for the first time. Good luck!