Royal Hunt Cup

The Royal Hunt Cup is a handicap over a mile for three-year-olds and upwards at Royal Ascot.  It currently takes place on the second day of the meeting.

There has only ever been one dual winner of this competitive handicap, Master Vote way back in 1947-48. Notable recent winners include Mighty Fly (1983), Colour Sergeant (1992), Yeast (1996), Mine (2004), Forgotten Voice (2009) and Real World (2021).

Find out more about the Royal Hunt Cup:

Royal Hunt Cup

Race Overview – Royal Hunt Cup

The Royal Hunt Cup is a flat handicap horse event hosted in the U.k for horses aged three and above. It is held annually June at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 metres).

Check out our guides to all the other UK Premier Handicap horse races.

Royal Hunt Cup Odds

Here are the latest odds for the Royal Hunt Cup in June 2023:

  • These odds have not yet been released.

Royal Hunt Cup Tips

Here are some tips for the Royal Hunt Cup in June 2023:

  • 2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
  • 1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

Some of the horses racing in the Royal Hunt Cup will also be in other races throughout the year. Watch the horses to see how they perform or place your bets on ante-post betting.

Royal Hunt Cup Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2013 Belgian Bill 5 James Doyle George Baker
2014 Field Of Dream 7 Adam Kirby Jamie Osborne
2015 GM Hopkins 4 Ryan Moore John Gosden
2016 Portage 4 James Doyle Michael Halford
2017 Zhui Feng 4 Martin Dwyer Amanda Perrett
2018 Settle For Bay 4 Billy Lee David Marnane
2019 Afaak 5 Jim Crowley Charles Hills
2020 Dark Vision 4 William Buick Mark Johnston
2021 Real World 4 Marco Ghiani Saeed bin Suroor
2022 Dark Shift 4 James McDonald Charles Hills

Famous Royal Hunt Cup Winners

The first running of the Royal Hunt Cup took place in 1843 with victory going to Knight Of The Whistle. The race was originally run on the round course but now takes place on the straight mile.

Mighty Fly won this race for David Elsworth and Steve Cauthen in 1983. The talented four-year-old was quite popular at around 12-1. The trainer would land the prize again in 1990 with the 50-1 chance Pontenuovo, ridden by Gary Bardwell.

The race traditionally features some major gambles but successful ones have been few and far between. True Panache was a wholesale gamble prior to the start at a rain-soaked Ascot in 1989 and duly landed the spoils for trainer Jeremy Tree and jockey Pat Eddery. He was the only winning favourite between 1980 and 1996 when Kieren Fallon won on Yeast for William Haggas.

Mine won the race at odds of 16-1 in 2004 for James Bethell and Richard Quinn. The horse would go into the history books for a remarkable three victories in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket (2002, 2005 and 2006).

Royal Oath (2007) was one of the few Hunt Cup winners to go on to success outside of handicap company. He went on to win the King Edward Stakes at Woodbine in Canada in 2008 for John Gosden. Walter Swinburn enjoyed the greatest moment of his short training career when saddling 12-1 chance Julienas to win this race in 2011.

The last major gamble to be landed in the Royal Hunt Cup was Forgotten Voice for Jeremy Noseda and Johnny Murtagh in 2009. He started 4-1 favourite after winning on the all-weather and made a mockery of his handicap mark. He did not win again until scoring in a novice hurdle at Bangor-on-Dee for Nicky Henderson in 2012 but would make a successful return to the flat, eventually winning a Group 3 at Goodwood in 2013.

Real World stormed to victory for Godolphin in 2021, finishing clear on the far side of the track at odds of 18-1. It was the first of five successive victories, culminating in a Group 2 success at Meydan in January 2022.

Key Royal Hunt Cup Trials

Winners of the Royal Hunt Cup have come from races scattered far and wide in recent years. Only one of the last twelve had actually won on their previous start. Horses with recent form in big handicaps at Newmarket, York and Epsom usually feature prominently in the betting.

Five of the last twelve Royal Hunt Cup winners ran at Goodwood in the Golden Mile but all were beaten with only one managing to be placed. Only one of those twelve managed to win on their next start and that was Real World (2021) who won the Steventon Stakes at Newbury.

Royal Hunt Cup Betting Trends

It is a sobering thought for punters that Forgotten Voice (2009) is the only winning favourite in the last 25 years! There have been some well-backed winners, notably GM Hopkins (2015) for John Gosden and Ryan Moore and Dark Vision (2020) for Mark Johnston and William Buick.

Long priced winners have been coming in quite regularly in this race. Invisible Man (2010) returned at 28-1 for Saeed bin Suroor and Frankie Dettori in 2010. Zhui Feng (2017) was a 25-1 shot for Amanda Perrett and Martin Dwyer in 2017. Field Of Dream (2014) and Afaak (2019) both returned at 20-1 in a race where bookmakers have certainly had the upper hand.

Four-year-olds have won six of the last seven renewals, a sequence only interrupted by five-year-old Afaak. Field Of Dream was the oldest winner of modern times when scoring as a seven-year-old for Jamie Osborne and Adam Kirby.

The last twelve winners have all been officially rated between 93 and 105. Nine of those winners were drawn 11 or higher, although Real World’s runaway success from stall 4 in 2021 completely shattered the perceived bias against a low draw.

Royal Hunt Cup – Top Trainers and Jockeys

This is an incredibly tough race to win so it is not surprising to find the leading trainer dating back well over a century! That honour is still retained by James Jewitt who saddled five winners between 1882 and 1897. Saeed bin Suroor’s two winners were both seemingly unfancied; Invisible Man (2010) and Real World (2021). John Gosden has also won it twice; Royal Oath (2007) and GM Hopkins (2015).

The leading jockey honours in the Royal Hunt Cup are currently shared by Charles Wood (1875 to 1887) and Lester Piggott (1963 to 1976) with four winners apiece. Frankie Dettori has won it twice; Surprise Encounter (2001) and Invisible Man (2010), as has James Doyle; Belgian Bill (2013) and Portage (2016).

Betting on the Royal Hunt Cup

The Royal Hunt Cup is arguably the trickiest betting race of the week. Punters were confident they had narrowed it down to horses drawn high last year only to see Real World storm home on the opposite side of the track. Bookmakers usually offer enhanced place terms on the Royal Hunt Cup down to fifth or sixth place so there is at least plenty of scope for each-way betting.

Best Royal Hunt Cup Betting Sites

Here are the most popular free bets for Royal Hunt Cup betting:

  • bet365 Royal Ascot Offer

    Bet365 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £50 IN FREE BETS
    New customers for Royal Ascot at bet365 can claim the Bet of £10 & Get £50 Free Bets sign-up offer. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits for Royal Ascot Festival
  • Betfred Royal Ascot Offer

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES
    The bet 10 get 60 pounds in betting bonuses is a popular 2022 Royal Ascot offer for new punters looking to wager on the Royal Ascot Festival races

    New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Royal Ascot Offer

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS
    William Hill’s latest promo is bet £10 get £30 in free bets, an excellent bookies offer for the big races at The Royal Ascot 2022

    New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Royal Ascot Offer

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo
    The new sign up offer from Unibet is one of the best new promotions to take advantage of for The Royal Ascot Festival in 2022, bet £10 to receive £40 in free bets

    18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Full T&Cs apply. #AD

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Royal Ascot Offer

    Betfair Horse Racing
    GET A £30 FREE BET
    Betfair’s free bet bonus is one to take a look at for The 2022 Royal Ascot, offering a totally free £30 bet, available to use for both the Betfair exchange and sportsbook

    New customers place £50 worth of bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100. Min odds 1.2 (1/5). Multiple bets included. Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • 888sport Royal Ascot Offer

    888 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30
    With their latest promo, 888 sport’s offer gets new customers 30 pounds when they bet 10, making it a great bonus to make the most of for the races

    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Royal Ascot Offer

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40
    One of the best sign up offers for Royal Ascot, this BetVictor promo of bet 10 get 40 is perfect for new customers wanting to place a bet on the horses

    18+ New customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Royal Ascot Offer

    Coral Sports Logo
    Coral’s newest sign up deal for Royal Ascot is for the value of 20 pounds in free bets, a betting offer that’s perfect for those wanting a bet on the big races

    18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Royal Ascot Offer

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    This bookmakers new promotion is ideal for the horse racing, proving 20 pounds in free bets when you place 5 as a new customer, perfect for The Royal Ascot!

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Parimatch Royal Ascot Offer

    Parimatch Logo
    Parimatch have a new welcome offer of £30 in free bets when you bet £5, which is a great promo to make the most of for The Royal Ascot

    18+ New Customers opt in, deposit and bet £5 at odds 2.00+ on Horse Racing within 7 days of registration; excludes cashed out bets. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events only at odds 2.00+. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | | Please gamble responsibly

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Paddy Power Royal Ascot Offer

    Paddy Power Sports Logo
    Paddy Power are known for their terrific betting offers, and their latest promotion gives customers 10 pound back as cash if the bet doesn’t win!

    New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £10. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion.
    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betway Royal Ascot Offer

    Betway Sports
    For a brilliant new customer offer for the horse racing, betway’s up to £10 in free bets is an excellent choice

    New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+. Bet The Responsible Way.

    Full T&C's Apply

Summary of Royal Hunt Cup

Thank you for reading our Royal Hunt Cup guide, we hope you enjoyed it and found all the information you were looking for!

Popular Questions

Where is the Royal Hunt Cup held?

The Royal Hunt Cup is held at Ascot Racecourse.

What distance is the Royal Hunt Cup?

The Royal Hunt Cup has a distance of 1 mile.

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If you do choose to bet, please bet responsibly.

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.