ROYAL ASCOT is the most illustrious Flat horse racing festival in Britain. It has produced plenty of memorable moments down the years and many horses, trainers and jockeys have written themselves into sporting legend at the Berkshire track.
In celebration of this magnificent event that takes place in front of The Queen, we take a look back over four great Royal Ascot performances from recent times.
Yeats wins fourth Gold Cup
Aidan O’Brien is an icon of racehorse training, but the Ballydoyle maestro surpassed himself with staying superstar Yeats. To win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot more than once is a major achievement, but to do so four times in a row from the age of five is nothing short of miraculous.
Year after year, O’Brien got Yeats to this meeting, but on the fourth occasion in 2009 with history beckoning, he came to Berkshire on the back of losing his prep run. All the old magic was still there, however, as he stayed on gamely to justify favouritism and take his place among the pantheon of great Flat stayers.
Frankel blitzes Queen Anne field
Winning over a mile on both the round and straight courses at Royal Ascot is rarer than you might think. The lack of a bend to race around brought out the absolute best in Frankel when he lined up the 1/10 favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes of 2012.
Undefeated for his late and legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil, this was a demolition job. Hard as it is to believe, Frankel was all out to win the St James’s Palace Stakes here 12 months earlier. He put in his most devastating performance in the Queen Anne when shaken up to score by 11 lengths.
There is just something about Frankie Dettori at Ascot. He rode his famous magnificent seven when he went through the card at this venue, but a four-timer on Gold Cup day at the royal meeting in 2019 also takes a bit of beating.
After steering A’Ali to juvenile sprint success in the Norfolk Stakes for trainer Simon Crisford, Dettori followed up in Prince Khalid’s colours aboard the Sir Michael Stoute trained Sangarius in the Hampton Court.
Frankie then made it a hat-trick aboard John Gosden’s Star Catcher in the Ribblesdale before partnering Stradivarius to a successful defence of the Gold Cup. The dual champion stayer is 5/2 in the latest Royal Ascot betting to win the two-and-a-half mile Group 1 contest again.
Blue Point sprint double
Last and by no means least, another rare feat. Blue Point might just be the best sprinter ever owned by powerful global owners Godolphin. There are two weight-for-age sprints at Royal Ascot – the King’s Stand over the flying five furlongs on the opening day and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day.
Winning both is seldom contemplated, let alone attempted but it was achieved in 2019. Blue Point got the better of old rival Battaash in the King’s Stand and then just lasted over six furlongs in the Diamond Jubilee after trainer Charlie Appleby asked Sheikh Mohammed if he could run the horse again.