Royal Ascot 2022 preview: Best races, top American horses, how to watch and bet
With the US Triple Crown season in the books, the horse racing world is focused on a penny – or in this case, ten pence – across the pond for one of the most prestigious events on the calendar. annual. The five days Royal Ascot The meet begins on Tuesday June 14 at the beautiful Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. The royal meeting will feature many of the UK and Ireland’s top horses for 28 races with a total of £8,702,500 (about US$10.6 million) in prize money up for grabs.
Royal Ascot is similar to major American events such as the kentucky derby and Breeders Cup World Championships in that it’s about much more than just horse racing, as the five days are filled with fashion, celebrities and a historic brand of pomp and circumstance tied to the British monarchy (the Hippodrome of Ascot was founded by Queen Anne in 1711).
While the whole Royal Ascot experience is a major draw for throngs of Britons eager to enjoy a highlight of the summer social calendar in person, for most of us the horses, TV coverage and betting are at the center of concerns. Enjoy the ABR’s guide to the 2022 Royal Ascot meeting.
When it happens:
The meet runs from Tuesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 18, with each daily card containing seven races. The first post is at 9:30 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local time) and the last race of each day is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET (6:10 p.m. local time).
Eight of the 28 races at Royal Ascot are Group 1 stakes, the highest in the world. Three of them take place on opening day, June 14: the Queen Anne Stakes for horses 4 years and older; the King’s Stand Stakes for horses 3 years and older; and the St. James’ Palace Stakes for 3-year-old colts.
On Wednesday June 15, horses aged 4 and up will compete in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and on Thursday June 16, horses aged 4 and up will face off in a true test of endurance when the Gold Cup takes place at 2 ½ mile.
Two more Group 1 stakes are scheduled for Friday June 17: the Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-old colts and fillies and the Coronation Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. And finally, on Saturday June 18, horses 4 years and older will race in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes. Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes is a five-stage sprint, and Platinum Jubilee Day is held at six stages – and it’s not uncommon for horses to appear in both stages in the same week.
Four races during the meeting are “Win and You Participate” Challenge Series qualifiers for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 4-5 at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky. The winners of these four stakes will receive a guaranteed, fee-paid spot in the grid departure for a designated Breeder’s Cup Race. The aforementioned Queen Anne Stakes and King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday are “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, respectively, while Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes are a qualifier Challenge Series for the Longines Breeders’ Cup turf.
The Group 2 Norfolk Stakes, held as the opening race on Royal Ascot’s Thursday June 16 card, is a “win and you’re in” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Where to watch:
NBC Sports will show the races from Royal Ascot, with races from Tuesday to Friday available on its Peacock streaming service and the races on Saturday June 18, broadcast live on NBC and also on Peacock, NBCSports.comand the NBC Sports app starting at 9 a.m. ET. Streaming will begin on Peacock at 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday through Friday.
The entire Royal Ascot fixture will also be televised live each day on TVG.
How to bet:
Betting on ponies in the UK is different than in the US – you set fixed odds with a bookmaker such as Labrokes or William Hill and go from there. But there will be pari-mutuel pools for American horse players via early deposit (ADW) betting sites such as Paris NYRA, 1/ST BET, TwinSpires.comand other entities.
Don’t forget to keep jet lag in mind: most of the action during Royal Ascot week will be in the morning for East Coast players – and very early in the morning for those shooting in the Pacific time zone.
Top US-Based Horses:
The American coach with the best record at Royal Ascot is, without a doubt, Wesley Ward.
Ward began his career as a jockey and won the Eclipse Award as Outstanding Apprentice Rider in 1984. He became a trainer in the early 1990s. Over time he established a reputation as an expert in the development of 2-year-old horses and turf sprinters.
Ward has won a total of 12 races at Royal Ascot, starting with Strike the Tiger and Jealous Again on his first trip in 2009. This year he will send out a strong field of runners, headlined by the sprint sensation on Golden Pal grass. The Uncle Mo colt has already achieved a lot in just nine starts. He won both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (2020) and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (2021) and also finished second in the 2020 Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in only his second career race. This gives him familiarity with the Ascot course, and Golden Pal is listed as possible for the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday and the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.
Love Reigns is another Ward intern making a lot of buzz ahead of Ascot. The 2-year-old filly made her debut at Keeneland on April 29 and set off in a 5 ½ furlong sprint on grass by 9 ¾ lengths. She is due to compete in Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, the opening race on Royal Ascot’s Wednesday card, which is five furlongs away.
And last but not least from the Ward group, the 4-year-old filly Campanelle will return to Royal Ascot for the third consecutive year… and will be looking for her third consecutive victory. In 2020, she did what Love Reigns will attempt to do this year, making her US debut and then winning the Queen Mary Stakes. Last June, she won the Commonwealth Stakes by disqualification. Now Ward is heading her into the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. Campanelle won his season debut at Keeneland in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes by 2½ lengths. On June 7, Ward told the British At the races that three-time Eclipse Prize-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. would have the mount on all his Royal Ascot horses.
Top turf trainers Christophe Clement and Graham Motion are also heading to Royal Ascot. Clement will send premier filly Pizza Bianca to the Coronation Stakes on Friday. Pizza Bianca won last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for owner Bobby Flay and earned a second-place finish on its 2022 debut with an upcoming Hilltop Stakes win at Pimlico on May 20. Clement’s Slipstream, winner of the Palisades Stakes at Keeneland in April, will also chase a Group 1 win in the Commonwealth Stakes on Friday.
Kentucky Derby winner Graham Motion from Cambridge, England has sent some fine horses to Royal Ascot on occasion, and he will have unbeaten 3-year-old filly Spendarella on hand at this year’s festival. She has raced three times in her career, all earlier this year, and already has two graded wins on her resume, the Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park and the Appalachian Stakes Presented by JRA at Keeneland. Spendarella will face Pizza Bianca in an unmissable Coronation Stakes on Friday.
Finally, trainer Wayne Catalano, a four-time Breeders’ Cup winner, will send his very first horse to Royal Ascot this year. Andthewinneris, an impressive first-time winner at Keeneland, will target the listed Chesham Stakes on June 18, the opening race on the final day of Ascot. The 2-year-old daughter of Oscar Performance, winner of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, won by a two-length widening on her 5 ½ furlong debut. It will span seven stadiums in Chesham with Irad Ortiz Jr. on board.