Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse

While Newmarket and Cheltenham are referred to as flat and National Hunt’s respective HQ’s, Ascot is without doubt the premier dual-purpose track in the country.

Some top flat handicaps are staged here, most of them during June’s royal meeting, while over the sticks there are more top betting events in the winter.

Track Details

Ascot Racecourse Barriers

When thinking of betting in handicaps at Ascot, remember the differences between the round course and the straight course on the flat, as well as the hurdle and chase courses over jumps, all of which are right-handed.

The flat round course is almost triangular in shape, with a shortish run-in of 2½ furlongs after the final bend meaning horses have to be good enough to be in a striking position on the turn.

The straight mile undulates and joins the round course. The tracks are galloping with those on the front end on the round course often difficult to get by on the run-in.

With positioning being key, a look at the better jockeys around this track is important when betting in handicaps on the round course

Up the straight in dry conditions, the stands side (high numbers) have definitely held sway, though in big field handicaps it can be almost as important to check where the pace is.

Over the jumps, it once again pays more often than not to race prominently throughout. Novices often struggle, but that’s not something to worry about in the handicaps as it tends to be the more experienced jumpers being sent to Ascot.

While runners may struggle being held up too far back, they also don’t often front-run to victory in handicaps over fences here so look out for horses who are generally comfortable not far from the pace but are not confirmed front-runners or hold-up horses.

Top Trainers and Jockeys

Ascot Racecourse Royal Carriages

One handicap betting angle is to check out who traditionally does well at Ascot. The top trainers in terms of strike-rate and/or prize money are:

  • John Gosden*
  • Roger Varian*
  • Sir Michael Stoute*
  • Charlie Appleby*
  • Paul Nicholls
  • Nicky Henderson
  • Nigel Twiston-Davies
  • Harry Fry
  • Dr Richard Newland

The better-performing jockeys at Ascot are:

  • Frankie Dettori*
  • James Doyle*
  • Ryan Moore*
  • Oisin Murphy*
  • William Buick*
  • Harry Cobden
  • Nico De Boinville
  • Sam Twiston-Davies
  • Robbie Power

* Flat racing, others National Hunt

Major Handicaps at Ascot

Most of Ascot headline-grabbing races are conditions events, many of them at Group/Grade 1 level. Their handicaps are also legendary though with these being their biggest.


Race Meeting Grade Distance
Victoria Cup May Raceday Weekend Class 2 7 furlongs
Ascot Stakes Royal Ascot Class 2 2 miles, 4 furlongs
Royal Hunt Cup Royal Ascot Class 2 1 mile
Sandringham Stakes Royal Ascot Class 2 1 mile
Britannia Stakes Royal Ascot Class 2 1 mile
Wokingham Stakes Royal Ascot Class 2 6 furlongs


Race Meeting Grade Distance
Swinley Chase Ascot Chase Raceday, February Listed Race 3 miles
Sodexo Gold Cup Chase November Racing Weekend Grade 3 3 miles
Betfair Exchange Trophy (Hurdle) Christmas Racing Weekend Grade 3 1 mile, 7 furlongs
Ascot Silver Cup (Chase) Christmas Racing Weekend Listed Race 3 miles

Comments are closed.