On the first day of Royal Ascot, the honors go to the bookmakers.


On the first day of Royal Ascot, the honors go to the bookmakers.

In a day of fluctuating fortune for market followers, Round One of Royal Ascot 2021 went marginally to the bookmakers.

The triumph of Palace Pier at 2-7 in the Queen Anne Stakes hardly made a ripple in the pond – but victories by 4-1 shot Oxted and 7-2 favourite Poetic Flare in the King’s Stand Stakes and St James’s Palace Stakes respectively put things comfortably in the punters’ favor.

“Both those winners were popular, but the pendulum swung back with the wins of Juan Elcano (14-1 in the Wolferton), Berkshire Shadow (11-1 in the Coventry), and especially Reshoun, whose Ascot Stakes triumph at 66-1 was greeted with stone silence,” said David Stevens, a spokesman for Coral.

“He held off a strong Irish challenge, and we finished the first day on an even footing.”

Despite the popularity of Palace Pier and Poetic Flare, Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield confirmed that the book had a good day.

“Punters gain a few quid on Poetic Flare and Oxted in the King’s Stand,” he continued, “but the likes of 66-1 stunner Reshoun and, to a lesser extent, Juan Elcano were clearly difficult to nail down.”

“It’s been a good opening day for us at Royal Ascot, with the well-backed Battaash getting beaten being the highlight,” Betway PR Manager Chad Yeomans remarked.

“Palace Pier was a very short-priced winner in the opener and was in a lot of multiples, but Battaash in the Kings Stand Stakes disappointed a lot of those.

“Poetic Flare in the St James’s Palace Stakes was without a doubt the worst outcome of the day. Throughout the day, and again on the show price, he was backed up. He’s a tough horse who appears to have a chance to beat Palace Pier in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. At this point, we’re 4-5 Palace Pier and 4-1 Poetic Flare.”

Bookmakers got off to a good start after avoiding Frankie Dettori multiples and defeats for Battaash and Cape Gentleman. (This is a brief piece.)


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