Horses to Watch at Royal Ascot This Year: Kyprios and Big EVs

The Royal Ascot Horse Racing Festival is one of the biggest events on the annual calendar and the venue is the cultural home of flat racing, as it has stood since 1711.

The festival itself was not established until 1807 but it has run continuously since and each edition has featured the prestigious Gold Cup race – the historic meeting that all jockeys and trainers wish to win most.

This year Ascot’s five days of action in late June will commence again with its typical schedule of 35 races. There could be brand new champions this year, or past Ascot winners could prop up again.

Here we will detail some standout horses that will be on show this year and why you should keep an eye on them.


Kyprios won the Ascot Gold Cup in 2022 and was expected to become one of Aiden O’Brien’s leading horses before injury problems halted his progress for much of 2023.

He is the favourite to win the event on his return this year according to horse racing odds today at 5/2. He faces big opposition in the form of Vauban though who is a serious contender in a bet on Royal Ascot 2024 at 7/1.

Kyprios missed his Gold Cup defence last year and was only fit to star in a few events late in the year at Curragh and Ascot. There will be huge anticipation this year around whether the horse will return to its prior form at the festival, or whether injury has limited his potential permanently.

The Irish horse is now reported to have put his injuries far behind him, although it is the impact of the lengthy layoff that could prove to be costly. He was beaten in the two races he featured in at the latter end of 2023, and that provided a suggestion that his once incredible pace and power may have declined slightly.

Kyprios will either prove he is still one of flat racing’s top-level talents this year and become a two-time Gold Cup winner in the process or will make it evident that his peak came at the other side of his injury layoff.

Whatever happens in the Gold Cup is bound to be exciting, a career could be reborn, or a brand-new champion could present themselves.

Big Evs

Big Evs is a key horse to watch in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot this year. The colt won as a massive outsider in the Windsor Castle Stakes of 2023 and could do the same in the more significant race this time around.

He is offered at 10/1 to win what is one of Ascot’s standout events, while Vandeek and Bucanero Fuerte are fancied ahead of him. Big Evs has the advantage of having superior experience at Ascot though.

Of the last eight winners of the Commonwealth Cup seven had participated in the festival prior, and three had past wins to their name. Big Evs is the only horse ranked in the top three ahead of the race that has both been to Ascot before and left victorious.

Vandeek will go to Ascot for the first time in June, and Bucanero Fuerte could only finish 3rd in his debut last year. Recent history bodes well on Big Evs which means the Commonwealth Cup this year should be viewed as another potential location of an underdog triumph for the Michael Appleby-trained colt.

These two horses are without a doubt set to make significant impacts in the racing world this year. The trip to Ascot will represent their most important tasks. Kyprios will look to continue where he left off in 2022, and Big Evs will be aiming to secure a consecutive surprise victory at the historic venue.