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The Excitement of the Royal Hunt Cup

By: Ride
June 5, 2013

Royal Ascot is not all about glamour and the top grade one races. Thanks to the history of the meeting, the Royal Hunt Cup, although not the best quality race of the meeting is invariably one of the most unpredictable and most exciting races for horse race betting fans. Invariably, it is run on the second day of Royal Ascot. Although the premium Prince of Wales’ Stakes tends to grab the headlines, the Royal Hunt Cup promises to be quite a spectacle. The race itself is a flat handicap race, run over a course of just one mile. Dating back to 1843, the Royal Hunt Cup was first won by a horse called Knight of the Thistle, with an incredible three horses tied for second place. In many ways, that encapsulates the traditional excitement of the race. The format of the course itself has varied over the years, but has remained in its current state since 1956. A measure of the race’s prestige, despite being a grade two race, is the fact that alongside the Gold Cup and the Queen’s Vase, it is one of only three races during Royal Ascot at which the winning trainer gets to keep the trophy.

Over the years, the race has witnessed some true legends of the sport triumph. The one and only Lester Piggott won the race on a record four occasions with Charles Wood having also achieved the feat towards the end of the nineteenth century. In more recent years, winning jockeys have included Frankie Dettori and John Murtagh, a veritable Royal Ascot legend. Last year, John Fahy rode the 16-1 shot Prince of Johanne to victory. If you’re interested in this years betting odds – be sure to visit the Royal Ascot 2013 Betting page at William Hill.

However, the real beauty of the Royal Hunt Cup is the large and varied field that it attracts. There are usually around thirty entrants competing in the race, making for quite a spectacle. The sheer number of horses makes it difficult for those who want a bet on Royal Ascot to pick a winner. In the last decade, seven winners have had odds of 11-1 or higher, indicating the difficulty in predicting a result.