Blue Point makes Royal Ascot history with sprint double

Blue Point, winner of the King’s Stand Stakes earlier at the meeting, became the first horse since Choisir in 2003 to win two races at the same Royal Ascot as he fended off his rivals to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. 

The five-year-old sprinter came into the race having beaten Baattash in the five-furlong contest on the opening day, but showed no signs of tiredness as he fought doggedly to narrowly win the 2019 renewal of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

A winner of three Group one contests at Ascot, Blue Point will undoubtedly be campaigned with the leading sprint races in mind for the remainder of the season, with a tilt at the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes on Champions Day high on the agenda. 

It was also a double on the day for jockey James Doyle after partnering Pinatubo in the Chesham Stakes in what could very well prove to be the start of a blossoming career at the very highest level.

The two-year-old broke the juvenile track record with an eye-catching performance.

In the Hardwicke Stakes, Andrea Atzeni guided Defoe to victory in a thrilling renewal after a tight tussle with Czech raider Nangano Gold and Mirage Dancer.

The winner has been earmarked as a potential runner in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes next month. 

It would turn out to be one of two winners on the day for the Italian jockey as Cape Byron cruised to success in the Wokingham Stakes. 

Elsewhere on the card, Space Traveller won the Jersey Stakes while Cleonte was the victor in the final race of Royal Ascot 2019, the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Hayley Turner makes history as Frankie flies again

The fourth day was one to remember, as Hayley Turner stole the show to become the first female jockey to win at Royal Ascot in 32 years.

Turner, who retired in 2015 before returning to the saddle in 2018, rode Thanks Be to success in the Sandringham Stakes making her the first female rider since Gay Kelleway on board Sprowston Boy in the 1987 Queen Alexandra Stakes to win at the Royal meeting.

Thanks Be was delivered with a perfectly patient ride by the Group 1-winning rider to make history on another action-packed day.

It was also a case of another day, another winner for the Italian maestro Dettori as he guided Advertise, second in last year’s Coventry Stakes behind Calyx, to win the Commonwealth Cup.

Frankie’s triumph moves him to seven wins at the meeting, his best-ever performance at Royal Ascot.

However, breathing down his neck in the top jockey standings is Ryan Moore, who notched his fourth and fifth wins on the Fourth Day.

In the King Edward VII Stakes, Japan was a class above as he demonstrated his capabilities of being a leading player in the middle distance division this season with a commanding display, while Baghdad just held on to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.

The Coronation Stakes provided a moment to remember for the connections of French raider as Watch Me fended off the challenges of Classic heroine Hermosa and the regally-bred Jubiloso to win the prestigious feature race.

Elsewhere on the card, Daahyeh got favourite backers off to the best start in the Albany Stakes giving jockey David Egan the best possible birthday present after he celebrated his 20th birthday earlier in the week.

Royal Ascot concludes tomorrow with a sold out show-stopping day of action, where Blue Point bids to become the first horse to win two races at the same Royal meeting since Choisir in 2003.

Frankie fever engulfs Royal Ascot on unforgettable day three

“He couldn’t, could he?” That was the question on everyone’s lips and social media channels, including our own, as Frankie Dettori rattled off the first four winners on the third day of Royal Ascot 2019.

Dettori, of course, has form – and form on these grounds. Here, in 1996, he achieved a feat that was considered to be impossible, by winning every race at one of the most high-profile fixtures in the racing calendar. And by the time he’d powered Stradivarius home in the Gold Cup today, partnering the superstar stayer to back-to-back victories in the showpiece race of the week, everyone in attendance and watching on TV across the world were wondering if they were about to witness another miracle.

It was a fourth win from four rides for the Italian, a run that started with A’ali in the Norfolk Stakes. The whispers began when he brought the double up with Sangarius in the Hampton Court Stakes. They grew louder and louder following success in the Ribblesdale Stakes with Star Catcher and with Gold Cup glory, before reaching fever pitch a furlong out in the fifth race of the day, the Britannia Stakes, when Dettori and Tugenev were in front and closing in on the winning post.

In the end, it was not to be, but there was a heartwarming story to be found in the defeat, as Biometric and Harry Bentley swooped late to grab an unassailable lead, and in the process reminding everyone watching that Dettori was as human as they were. It was Bentley’s first ever Royal Ascot winner, and when the disappointment in the crowd had subsided, it was replaced with genuine warmth towards the talented young jockey, whose path to the top hasn’t always been a straightforward one.

Aidan O’Brien had the last word with an extraordinary feat of his own, training the first three home in the closing King George V Stakes, with South Pacific getting the better of two of his stablemates.

But the day unquestionably belonged to Dettori. Rarely has a sporting stage and one of its players become so synonymous with each other. Today was the latest chapter in an extraordinary love affair between jockey and racecourse, and we were all very lucky to have witnessed it.

Dettori double delights racegoers on day two of Royal Ascot

Frankie Dettori was the star of the show on the track on Wednesday at Royal Ascot, riding to a big race double in testing conditions on the second day of the 2019 Royal Meeting. Off the track, our racegoers shone as usual with their style and elegance, and, despite the intermittently heavy showers, spirits remained high on an afternoon to remember.

The popular Italian jockey, who famously rode all seven winners here at a fixture in 1996, got off to a dream start in the opening Queen Mary Stakes. Always in the front rank aboard the Mark Johnston-trained Raffle Prize, the duo repelled the transatlantic challenge of Kimari and jockey John Velazquez to claim the Group 2 contest for two-year-old fillies.

But the best was yet to come for Dettori. Not many jockeys have ridden this racecourse as well as him, and he used all of his experience to produce a canny winning ride on Crystal Ocean in the day’s feature race, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Getting first run on the rest of the field, and capitalising on his willing partner’s guaranteed stamina over the ten-furlong distance, Dettori powered Crystal Ocean home to give the horse his first ever win at Group 1 level. Crystal Ocean’s versatility regarding ground and tactics proved decisive and his victory gave Sir Michael Stoute his 80th Royal Ascot success as a trainer – more wins than anyone else in the long history of the Royal Meeting.

In the day’s second race, Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby advertsised his St Leger credentials with a gutsy win in the Queen’s Vase. Later on, trainer William Haggas, whose star filly Sea of Class had been beaten in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, gained compensation in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes in the shape of another filly, Move Swiftly. 

The most thrilling finish of the day came in the Royal Hunt Cup. After a strongly-run mile in soft ground, Afaak and Clon Coulis were separated by a matter of inches at the finish line, with the former prevailing by a short head.

The day's action was completed by another two-year-old race, this time for colts. Southern Hills had previously failed to win from to previous career starts, but he broke his maiden in fine style, giving trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore their third winner of the week so far – returning them to the top of the trainer and jockey standings respectively. 

Day one of the Royal Meeting

The opening day of Royal Ascot 2019 was a case of déjà vu as Blue Point got the better of Battaash in a thrilling duel up the famous Ascot straight to land the King’s Stand Stakes for a second year running. 

Earlier Lord Glitters went one better than last year to win the Queen Anne Stakes for David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope while there was also a double on the day for the imperious Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore as Arizona took the Coventry Stakes and Circus Maximus took the feature St James’s Place Stakes in gutsy fashion.
Royal Ascot continues tomorrow with another fantastic day of racing, fashion, pageantry and food.