The always exciting, yet sometimes gruelling, jumps season has come to an end. As the good weather hits the shores of Britain, we can welcome in the beginning of the flat season and all the brilliant spectacles it has to offer. There is much to look forward to over the coming months, including the Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot, Goodwood and Ebor.
Where should savvy punters be putting their money this summer? Below is a look at some horses who could make bettors smile over the coming months. Don’t forget, you can enjoy free bet offers from almost all major UK bookmakers to get even more value.
The Derby: Saturday 2nd June Epsom Downs
One name is on everyone’s lips before the biggest flat race of the year so far: Saxon Warrior. Aidan O’Brien’s unbeaten three-year-old has already taken the 2000 Guineas a few weeks ago and will look to be the first horse since Camelot (2012, also trained by O’Brien) to win both the 200 Guineas and Derby in the same season. The bookmakers have reacted to that, with Saxon Warrior’s best odds at evens (888sport, Sportingbet). If you want some value, you could back Charlie Appleby’s Masar (a not too distant 3rd in the 2000 Guineas) at 14/1.
Royal Ascot: Tuesday 19th June – Saturday 23rd June, Ascot Racecourse
There is, of course, no end of truly top-class races at the prestigious Royal Ascot Festival. Indeed, it is regarded as one of the biggest betting events of the year. There has been plenty of chatter around Cracksman (evens, William Hill) for the Prince of Wales Stakes, with jockey Frankie Dettori aiming for his fourth victory in the Group 1 race. Poets Word also looks like having some backing at 9/1 too, but Cracksman with Dettori on board look like the smart way to go.
Obviously, plenty of attention will be put on the Ascot Gold Cup (21st June). The two main protagonists from last year’s race – beaten favourite Order of St George and surprise winner Big Orange – look set to be in the mix once again. Order of St George leads the betting at 3/1 (Betfair) with Big Orange coming in at 7/1 with nearly all major betting companies. Preference has to go to the former to put right the wrongs of last year (Order of St George finished second) and put another trophy on the CV of the partnership between Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien.
St Leger: Saturday 15th September, Doncaster Racecourse:
If Saxon Warrior can translate being bookies favourite to winning the Derby, he will then be in with a chance of doing something that has not been achieved since the great Nijinsky in 1970 – winning the English Triple Crown. The current odds on Saxon Warrior winning the St Leger (the final leg of the Triple Crown) are 3/1, but those will surely be slashed if he triumphs at Epsom Downs. It is obviously a long way to go until September, but if Saxon Warrior keeps going on the same trajectory punters will be looking back longingly at those 3/1 odds.