Ed Dunlop, who grew up seeing the 1974 Gold Cup on his parents’ table, a trophy awarded for the victory of Gladstone, trained by Dunlop’s father John, today added his own Gold Cup to the family heirlooms thanks to Trip To Paris. If the trainer had his own way though, it might well have been a case of “what if?”
Owned by syndicate of seven, including Dunlop himself, Trip To Paris was supplemented to the race at a cost of £35,000 – it was a decision made by Dunlop’s fellow owners and not one that he recommended! Luckily the trainer was overruled, and Dunlop was delighted to have been proved wrong.
“This is such a tradition race in the calendar, the win ranks vey highly in my career,” said Dunlop. “Graham [Lee] has been a vital cog with this horse and it is wonderful for him to ride a first Group 1 winner here.
“The Goodwood Cup will be considered now, and, of course, the Melbourne Cup – though all the Australians I have spoken to had advised me not to run here as we will now be too high in the weights.”
Moore matches modern-day Royal Ascot records
While Lee was adding a first Royal Ascot victory to his CV, Ryan Moore took his winning tally this year to eight with a three-timer. After riding a Group 2 double on Waterloo Bridge in the Norfolk Stakes and on Curvy in the Ribblesdale Stakes, he also bagged a last gasp victory on War Envoy in the Britannia Handicap. And if he had not met trouble in running in the home straight in the Gold Cup on Kingfisher, it might well have been a four-timer.
Pat Eddery and Lester Piggott both rode eight winners at Royal Ascot meetings in the 1970s and 1980s, but the best-ever totals were achieved in the 19th century: Fred Archer on 12 in 1878 and Nat Flatman in 1847 on 11. Don’t bet against Moore threatening those records too!
All three of today’s winners for Moore were for the Coolmore partners, with the two colts trained by Aidan O’Brien (four winners this week) and the filly by David Wachman. The next options to be considered for Curvy will be either in the Irish Derby or the Oaks.
Time passed the Test
Frankie Dettori, who is also riding at his very best, took his Royal Ascot winners total to 51 aboard Time Test in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes for Prince Khalid Abdullah and trainer Roger Charlton.
“Time Test showed today that he can handle the big days and fast ground,” said Charlton. “We could start looking at bigger options now, but because of the lack of opportunities in the British programme we might have to go to France to find a Group 2 over 1m2f.”
Space Age gives Appleby a first
The finale, the King George V Stakes, gave Godolphin’s trainer Charlie Appleby a first Royal Ascot success courtesy of Space Age.
"I am delighted to get a first Royal Ascot winner... it's a huge team effort and I can't thank everybody enough," said the trainer. "I knew 1m4f would suit, but the plan had been to hold Space Age up – William reversed everything, it was a brilliant ride!"