Royal Ascot Handicaps: How to Bet Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup

June 18th, 2024

There’s arguably no more exciting handicap at Royal Ascot, for spectators and players, than Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup.

Run over a straight mile, it almost always draws a full field of 30, and the odds are usually extremely good. This year is no exception, with local bookmakers offering as much as 10-1 for the likely favorite.

So if you find the winner, you’ll most likely have done very nicely for yourself. But which one of the 30 will it be?

Royal Ascot Race 5, 12:05 p.m. ET: Royal Hunt Cup, 1 mile, handicap, 3-year-olds and up


  • #6 Beshtani
  • #20 Wild Tiger
  • #10 Talis Evolvere
  • #23 Metal Merchant


  • $10 win/$20 show: #6 Beshtani
  • $1 trifecta6, 20 with 6, 10, 20 with 1, 4, 6, 10, 16, 20, 23

The early favorite is #20 Wild Tiger, and it’s not hard to see why. He’s raced just five times, including twice in Meydan this winter. Of his three British races, he’s won three.

Since returning to Britain, the Godolphin five-year-old has been untroubled, winning over seven furlongs at Yarmouth and Goodwood. On each occasion, he had more than two lengths to spare, and not surprisingly he’s been raised six pounds in the ratings for his most recent victory.

Some of the best lead-ups to this race have been at Newbury, where #23 Metal Merchant is a key form guide. He won two starts back on his seasonal reappearance April 20, beating #10 Talis Evolvere into third. A month later, he looked the goods to repeat at Newbury with two furlongs to go in the OCS Handicap before being outfinished by #1 Sonny Liston, a former Grade 3 placegetter who was second in this last year. 

Third once more that day was Talis Evolvere, who may have been on slightly worse ground on the inside of the track. He’s better off at the weights compared to his two Newbury rivals, and a midfield gate may well help him.

Interestingly, the OCS Handicap was the only failure this season for Two Tempting, who’s otherwise won four of five and probably didn’t like the good footing at Newbury. He turned that form around in his next start at Epsom, but had a charmed rail run and only just beat home the fast-finishing #6 Beshtani.

Two Tempting isn’t contesting the Royal Hunt Cup but Beshtani is. He was formerly trained in France, finishing second in a stakes race over a mile, and the Epsom run was his first for his new connections. He looks likely to improve and looks to have strong prospects.

Others to maybe consider include #9 Real Gain, #11 Coeur d’Or, #16 Aerion Power, #24 Daysofourlives, and #4 Holloway Boy, a winner here in 2022 as a two-year-old.