|Wednesday 13th June 2018|
Which is Better, Royal Ascot or Cheltenham Festival?
Ah, it’s the question that divides racing fans in equal measure. Some like both, some firmly prefer Cheltenham to Ascot and vice versa, whilst others can’t stand either, complaining that both meetings are overhyped and overpriced. Let’s take a look at what each festival and see if we can come up with a definitive answer.
If you were to base your decision on total attendance alone, Royal Ascot would win. An average of 300,000 people attend each year and whilst Cheltenham saw an attendance record in 2018 with 262,000 visiting the course during The Festival in 2018, those numbers don’t accurately reflect the respective popularity of each meeting. Taking these numbers at face value, neglects the fact that Royal Ascot takes place over 5 days, whilst Cheltenham is only 4 days. If took the average per day, then Cheltenham sneaks it with an average daily attendance of 65,000 compared to Ascot’s 60,000 attendees.
Exact figures are hard to come by with respect to how much is actually gambled at each festival. Figures of between £300- £500 million have been quoted for The Cheltenham Festival, whilst for Royal Ascot we’ve seen figures quoted at around £400 million. When it comes to betting offers however, it’s Cheltenham that wins by a margin according to Yesbets. The number of offers can be viewed as a barometer for how competitive it is for bookmakers to get your stakes and it seems that they need to work harder for that for Cheltenham.
Flat V National hunt? That’s the big question. It’s hard to really argue which is better, as they are like chalk and cheese. Some prefer flat racing, whilst others opt for national hunt. One argument is that horses tend to stick around for longer if they are jumps horses, so punters get to know them better. However flat racing showcases some of the most expensive horses in the World. It really is pays your money takes your choice.
If the internet is anything to go by (and you probably shouldn’t), it would seem that punters prefer Cheltenham over Royal Ascot. That said, both offer a plethora of fantastic grade 1 races, showcasing the best in their respective fields. So we say, why pick one flavour when you can have 2?