The most significant week in the flat racing calendar is nigh and with all the betting opportunities that come with it, there is one that sits on top of all: the colour of the Queen’s hat.
The Berkshire course is as well-stocked with experts as Moet during Royal Ascot week but few dare to attempt transferring their day-to-day guesswork to the millinery conundrum of what the Royal meeting’s greatest promoter will be wearing on the opening day.
The novelty market has been extremely popular ever since it opened in the 1990s, becoming the heat of choice for sweepstakes in offices across the country.
However, what was designed originally as an entertaining accompaniment to the traditional win and place fare, it has in years past forced layers to take it seriously.
In 2005 an infamous coup was landed, in part, when a flood of bets came late for the Queen to wear a brown number, dismissed in the betting at 12-1. The game was finally up when an ambitious punter waltzed into a Windsor shop, of all places, attempting to place a four-figure wager on the outcome – needless to say the prediction was brown.
Lo and behold Elizabeth II rocked up with a charming chocolate number meaning anyone trying to get more than ten pounds on the market nowadays, privy or otherwise, will need a team to help.
Nevertheless, this should not deter an investment. This year ‘pink’ has been supported into warming 3/1 favouritism and much of what evidence is available suggests once more the secrets of the Royal wardrobe may be seen not to be that well kept.
‘Blue’ had been the jolly having been the colour of choice for the opening day in two of the last seven seasons, including last time out. However, in that period the Supreme Governor has never been caught wearing the same shade in consecutive terms and so it can be confidently wiped from the list.
The last seven years, in chronological order, have seen her Highness sport blue, green, turquoise, yellow, cream, pink and blue.
It would be too simplistic to think that there is a seven-barrel revolving hat dispenser that could make us as rich as her Majesty, but the fact that pink has not been seen for the same period as when ‘blue’ crossed the line in front last year, this has to be the selection.
As mentioned previously ‘brown’ was the controversial selection on the Ladies Day market back in 2005, and with that in mind the shade cannot be discounted at generous odds of 33/1.
No hat no bet rules apply.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.