10 Royal Ascot Winners with the Longest Betting Odds
In the long history of Royal Ascot, six horses have defied odds of 50/1 to win, two laughed at odds of 66/1 and two shocked all-comers at a whopping 100/1.
Here we tell the tales of how those 10 horses became the biggest odds to win at Royal Ascot - well since they began recording betting in the 1970s and 80s.
Biggest Betting Upsets in Royal Ascot History
|Fox Chapel||100/1||Gary Hind||1990|
|Flashmans Papers||100/1||Steve Drowne||2008|
|Cosmic Sun||66/1||Paul Hanagan||2009|
|Night Of Wind||50/1||Bruce Raymond||1983|
|Lucayan Prince||50/1||Richard Hughes||1996|
|Nijoom Dubai||50/1||Jamie Spencer||2007|
50/1 Royal Ascot winners
Nijoom Dubai | 2007 Albany Stakes
Royal Ascot's two-year-old races are notoriously tricky to predict, with big fields and little form to go on. This was one occasion where a maiden stepped up at exactly the right time, Nijoom Dubai building on two placed efforts to gain that elusive win for trainer Mick Channon and jockey Jamie Spencer. The 7/4 favourite was second.
Lucayan Prince | 1996 Jersey Stakes
Trained by David Loder, Lucayan Prince seemed to be failing to build on a solid juvenile campaign, blinkers even applied to the three-year-old after disappointment in his first Group race. Given his preferred fast ground in the Jersey Stakes though, it all clicked for this 50/1 shot, and he sailed out of the pack to win by a length and a half under jockey Richard Hughes. The 4/1 joint-favourite was second.
Assatis | 1990 Hardwicke Stakes
Assatis was 4/11 favourite when winning the 1989 Hardwicke Stakes, but a year later his odds ballooned to 50/1 as he faced St Leger winner Michelozzo, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Carroll House, and the mighty dual Derby star Old Vic.
The Guy Harwood-trained five-year-old had lacked fitness on his first run of the season but made no mistake under regular rider Ray Cochrane this time. He was chased home by fellow 50/1 chance Ile De Nisky, the 4/5 favourite Old Vic only third.
Pontenuovo | 1990 Royal Hunt Cup
Though a cavalry charge full to the brim at 32 runners, Pontenuovo remains the biggest-priced winner of the infamous Royal Hunt Cup. A maiden until winning a claimer two starts earlier, the David Elsworth-trained winner got in off 7st 7lb and made all the running for jockey Gary Bardwell. The 6/1 favourite was third.
Jacamar | 1988 Chesham Stakes
There was one outing - a third place - to go on when pricing two-year-old Jacamar for the 1988 Chesham Stakes and, in hindsight, the 50/1 given by horse racing bookies was generous.
Trained by Ben Hanbury, who had sprung to fame two years earlier with 1,000 Guineas and Oaks heroine Midway Lady, Jacamar enjoyed a charming passage to win by half a length for jockey Bruce Raymond. Sir Henry Cecil's even-money favourite Zalazl was 7th.
Night Of Wind | 1983 Queen Mary Stakes
It was a Group 2 then, as it is today, and Night Of Wind was already a winning two-year-old for trainer Matt McCormack, who had the previous year pulled off the incredible feat of saddling Horage to win the Coventry and St James's Palace Stakes in the same week at Royal Ascot. Why she was 50/1 then is something of a mystery, but she didn't care and nor did jockey Bruce Raymond.
66/1 Royal Ascot winners
Amfortas | 1996 King Edward VII Stakes
Often called the Ascot Derby, this King Edward VII Stakes renewal did include that year's Derby third Shantou at the Epsom Festival. He shared 9/4 favouritism with Listed winner Prize Giving - an unknown quantity with potential that never materialised.
Amfortas, bred in Ireland by Airlie Stud, was at the time looking a very expensive yearling at 80,000 guineas, having finished well down the field in his only three starts.
But, the step up to 1m4f at Royal Ascot made Clive Brittain's late-developer. He made all the running to win by half a length for jockey Brett Doyle. He only ran once more, finishing last in the Irish Derby.
Cosmic Sun | 2009 King George V Handicap
Trained by master tactician Richard Fahey, Cosmic Sun crept in to the 2009 King George V Handicap at the very bottom of the 19-runner field, burdened by just 7st 12lb - although hampered by being 3lb out of the handicap.
He had been second five times as a two-year-old but aged three that June remained a maiden, stepping up in trip from 1m to 1m4f. It worked a treat; Paul Hanagan steered him to a length and a quarter win over Chiberta King. The 9/2 favourite Zarinski was fourth. Cosmic Sun didn't carry less than 8st 8lb in a handicap again.
100/1 Royal Ascot winners
Flashmans Papers | 2008 Windsor Castle Stakes
Underestimated is the best way to describe Flashmans Papers, and his connections; trainer John Best, jockey Steve Drowne and owner Dave Gorton. Best had never saddled a Royal Ascot winner, but felt Flashmans Papers was better than he had shown so far.
He had given him a break to strengthen, in the hope that would help the speedy son of Exceed And Excel see out the minimum trip of 5f. He was still behind winning stablemate Mullionmileanhour in the Windsor Castle Stakes pecking order though, with stable jockey Liam Keniry opting for the son of Mull Of Kintyre.
Punters lumped on the winners from the big yards, Brae Hill for Michael Bell, Saucy Brown for Richard Hannon, the David Wachman-trained Bushranger - who would become the 4/1 favourite. Flashmans Papers was ignored, joining a sextet of 100/1 shots in the 25-runner field. Mullionmileanhour was sent off at 16/1.
Under a patient ride by Drowne, the bay was still at the back of the field 2f from the line, making his run audaciously late to lead in the last 50 yards. He won by half a length, going away. Bushranger finished second, with Mullionmileanhour taking third in a truly unforgettable 1m.06s time for Best.
Fox Chapel | 1990 Britannia Stakes
Of all the long-shots to have won at Royal Ascot, few deserved their price more than the characterful Fox Chapel.
Trainer by Richard Hannon senior, the son of Formidable had won a three-runner maiden at Salisbury over 6f aged two, but went on to beat just six horses home in three subsequent outings.
He had tried 7f and 1m2f, four different jockeys, including a 7lb-claimer, and three different racecourses - racing right-handed, left-handed, and Windsor's unique figure of eight.
The form of his moderate maiden had even worked out okay, the second winning the following May, and the third gaining a close second the same month. All the while, Fox Chapel showed nothing.
Owner Tony Budge though wanted a runner at Royal Ascot on the day of the Britannia Stakes, so when he made it into the race at the bottom of the weights, he was signed up to take a tour of the Berkshire turf.
He was 1lb out of the handicap, 5lb claimer Gary Hind putting up 5lb overweight, and overnight rain meant he was trying soft ground for the first time - and of course trying a new distance at 1m.
There was a 150/1 shot in the 26-runner race (who finished tailed off last), but other than that, Fox Chapel was the rank outsider. Thing was, that meant that neither he nor his jockey Hind, carried any expectations.
Undettered about where the best ground was, or what the best group was, Hind jumped his mount from stall seven, and galloped in a straight line to the winning post, barely catching sight of another horse, as the successful pair raced alone on the worst of the soft ground.
Fox Chapel raced 20 more times on the Flat and never won again, or even came close, but he did go on to win five times over hurdles.
It's always a risk to side with an outsider in the Royal Ascot betting, but these 10 stars are proof that odds don't necessarily represent a horse's chance. Many winners fly under the radar, and there a plenty of clues above that could lead you to one such steed at this year's Royal meeting.
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