Royal Hunt Cup (Ascot) Betting Tips & Preview – Wednesday 21st June 2017

For many, the Royal Hunt Cup is the highlight of day two at Royal Ascot. The huge fields that usually contest this handicap affair make it an incredible spectacle and it also means big priced winners are regularly seen.

This year’s renewal will see 33 horses battle it out down the one mile straight track. It’s one of just three races during the five day festival that sees a perpetual trophy given to the winning owner, which is theirs to keep.

Past Winners/Top Jockeys and Trainers

Although this race has existed for over 150 years, only one horse has managed to win it twice. We have two former winners on the racecard this year, Belgian Bill and GM Hopkins.

  1. 2016 – Portage, ridden by James Doyle, trained by Michael Halford
  2. 2015 – GM Hopkins, ridden by Ryan Moore, trained by John Gosden
  3. 2014 – Field of Dream, ridden by Adam Kirby, trained by Jamie Osborne
  4. 2013 – Belgian Bill, ridden by James Doyle, trained by George Baker
  5. 2012 – Prince of Johanne, ridden by John Fahy, trained by Tom Tate

Betting Tips

The Royal Hunt Cup has consistently been one of Royal Ascot’s most difficult races to predict but the key trends can help you whittle down the field. Every winner since 2003 has had an official rating between 93 and 103, all but one had a top four finish in their last two starts and the vast majority have been aged four or five.

The age trends rule out nine-year-old Belgian Bill and the form trends rule out GM Hopkins (both available at 33/1 with Totesport) so it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing a two time winner this year.

One horse that does tick a lot of boxes for this race is EL Vip (11/1 with Bet35), trained by Luca Camani. He didn’t have the best start to the season when twice the beaten favourite but returned to winning ways at Newcastle earlier this month. He’s a well-regarded horse at this distance who finds himself far from badly handicapped.

Abe Lincoln finished second on his last appearance but that came over a year ago at last year’s Royal Ascot. His second place finish in the one mile Britannia Stakes would normally make him a real contender here but lack of competitive action since doesn’t make him too appealing at odds which have shortened to 11/1 (Bet365).

Banksea (10/1 with Betfred) suffered no ill signs from being gelded when winning a competitive race at Newbury in April. Settling in the middle of the pack to begin with, the four-year-old picked his spot and had slightly too much for his rivals in the final stages of the mile long race. He’s largely been a consistent performer during his time and his record over one mile is a very good one, reading three second place finishes and one win.

At Newbury, Bossy Guest trailed Banksea by just a length and a quarter so he seems well priced at 25/1 with Totesport. He may be winless in 15 starts but being gelded could change that for the horse who essentially refused to race when last at Royal Ascot.

Conclusion

Favourites haven’t fared well in this race but a more than fair price of 10/1 makes Banksea a worthy gamble along with El Vip. For a longer odds option, Bossy Guest could be this year’s surprise package as he looks to make up for his antics a year ago.

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