Commonwealth Cup Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Friday 21st June 2019

One of the headline acts of Royal Ascot’s penultimate day is the recently introduced Commonwealth Cup. Since replacing the Buckingham Palace Stakes in 2015, it has quickly established itself as an important part of the five-day festival.

Geldings are eligible to compete in this sprint which is exclusively for three year olds, the only Group 1 flat race where this is the case. There are none among the field this year though with the nine declared runners made up of colts and fillies. From them, it is Advertise who makes for the most eye catching option despite his place further down the betting.

Top Tips

Advertise to win @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

Last year the Commonwealth Cup managed to attract 22 horses to but the field is less than half what it was 12 months ago. Among them are two fillies who will both enjoy a three pound advantage over the colts as they fly down Ascot’s straight course.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to soft 6f Group 1 £500,000 9 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

With only four previous renewals, it’s hard to pick out any meaningful trends in this race. The only things that our past champions share in common is that they all previously won over six furlongs, raced within the last month and were drawn between stalls three and eight.

2018 Eqtidaar 12/1 Michael Stoute Jim Crowley
2017 Caravaggio 5/6 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2016 Quiet Reflection 7/4 Karl Burke Dougie Costello
2015 Muhaarar 10/1 Charlie Hills Dane O’Neill

Analysis: Favourite to flop again

Aidan O’Brien’s Sioux Nation headed the betting during the last Commonwealth Cup renewal but the colt failed to deliver, winding up a long way back in 16th place. Although the market has more faith in the Ballydoyle trainer being more successful this time, we remain less convinced. Ten Sovereigns (11/8) is facing some tough competition here in what is again, another open looking renewal of this lucrative sprint.

Power of Advertising

He failed to make any sort of impression in the 2000 Guineas but a return to six furlongs will see Advertise (10/1) thrive. Last year he showed real ability as a sprinter when winning both the July Stakes and the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. Returning this season, Martyn Meade thought his colt was ready for a step up in trip but his lack of stamina in the Guineas proved otherwise. Conditions at Ascot may not be ideal but nevertheless the three-year-old should be able to set a rapid pace and take keen hold of the race from his central position.

Recent win flatters Youmzain

Prior to his Sandy Lane Stakes win last month, keen punters could’ve gotten odds of 20/1 on Hello Youmzain winning this race. Now the colt finds himself trading at 5/1 following his triumph at Haydock. He hammered the overwhelming favourite Calyx that day but it’s vital to remember that John Gosden’s previously unbeaten horse picked up an injury mid-race. Without that we could’ve easily had a different result and one that wouldn’t have led to such interest in Hello Youmzain, earlier a beaten favourite in the Greenham Stakes.

Jash equal to Ten Sovereigns

It was Ten Sovereigns who took all the plaudits in last year’s Middle Park Stakes but finishing only half a length behind at Newmarket was Jash (4/1). Although there can be no complaints with the result, it wouldn’t have taken much at all for Simon Crisford’s colt to have been the victorious one. Preparations for this contest have gone smoothly enough with Jash claiming the King Charles II Stakes title last month and more is expect to come from the 118 rated horse.

Final Verdict: Advertise to win

You can’t say Ten Sovereigns is without hope here but his connections have helped his price shorten to a level that removes too much appeal. Jash almost beat Aidan O’Brien’s entry last season and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he finishes ahead on softer ground this Friday. Back Advertise to beat the pair though as the Frankie Dettori ridden colt looks set to find his form on his six furlong return. Martyn Meade has been quiet this season but even so his entry is a steal at odds of 10/1.


Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations

A shake up of sprint events across Europe triggered the introduction of the Commonwealth Cup in 2015. Replacing the discontinued Buckingham Palace Stakes on day four of the stupendous Royal Ascot meeting, it took no time in making headlines with a high class field of sprinters trying to take the inaugural prize. Now well recognised as one of the leading six furlong races on the continent, sprint races don’t come much bigger than this.

Usually top three-year-old sprinters would head for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot but the age requirements changed the year the Commonwealth Cup first ran. The more established six furlong race is now only open to horses four and up, leaving this event as a strictly three-year-old only affair. There are no other entry limitations however with fillies welcome and able to enjoy a 3lb allowance if prepared to battle it out with the boys.

Fillies fighting with fire

A three pounds allowance to a half-ton horse may not sound a lot but it’s often said that one pound of weight equals one length in distance. Sprint races tend to be closely fought things so the fillies’ weight advantage in this race is not something you want to dismiss. The race is too young to draw any significant trends from but the short history of fillies below suggests they’ll continue to fare well in this race. Note that there is no record for 2017 as that year no fillies took part.

Commonwealth Cup – Top Performing Filly: 2015 to 2018

Year Horse Position Runners SP
2018 Anthem Alexander 3rd 18 8/1
2017 No Fillies Raced
2016 Quiet Reflection 1st 10 7/4
2015 Heartache 7th 22 28/1

Irish begin brightly

This race definitely carries some global appeal but horses born just the other side of the Irish Sea have stood out the most, as is so often the case. Although Irish horses are regularly a prominent part of the field, they have been over represented among those finishing high up the pecking order. Much like with the fillies, it’s too early to tell if this trend will last but early signs suggest it’s something you’ll want to bear in mind for future renewals.

Chart Showing the Nationalities of Horses Finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the Commonwealth Cup Between 2015 and 2018

Goodbye to Buckingham

You’ll have struggled to find anyone voicing their opposition to the Commonwealth Cup’s introduction but it did come at the price of another event. The Buckingham Palace Stakes, a popular seven furlong handicap, was the race that made way having lasted just 12 years. While it was not a contest of any great historical significance, it did stand as the only handicap of such distance at Royal Ascot.

Fans of the now scrapped event asked why it was not possible to simply have seven races on one day, a common feature among many large meetings. Others would have preferred one of the Ascot Stakes or Queen Alexandra to have dropped out but the decision is unlikely to be reversed now.

Half a million pound mark breached

The idea behind the Commonwealth Cup was to create a “more balanced programme and better opportunities for high class sprinters.” Having a new Group 1 race has certainly helped achieve this and its inaugural appearance saw a near £400,000 purse entice the best trainers and owners to bring their horses to the party. Just three years later, in 2018, the prize fund had leapt nearly 20% higher, reaching half a million pounds for the first time. At the rate it’s going, it will soon overtake the Coronation Stakes as the most valuable race on day four of Royal Ascot.

Chart Showing the Commonwealth Cup Prize Fund Between 2015 and 2019

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