ROYAL ASCOT 2015 DIGEST

Beautiful weather greeted the throngs of race goers attending the festival this week, with rain only clouding the final races on the last day. The official course going was Good to Firm (Firm in places) and regular watering of the ground (5mm on three consecutive nights) was required to keep the course in pristine condition.

9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 to 1

Nine

When Snow Sky romped home to win the Hardwicke on the final day it gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute his ninth victory for the race.

Ryan Moore broke the post-war record of number of wins at Royal Ascot when he secured his ninth and final victory of the week aboard Aloft in the Queen’s Vase on day four. Not surprisingly this amazing achievement seen Ryan named most successful jockey of the meet.

Ryan Moore Royal Ascot top jockey. Image credit @Channel4Racing
Ryan Moore Royal Ascot top jockey. Image credit @Channel4Racing

There were nine unbeaten fillies from a field of 18 in the Albany on day four.

Eight

Ryan Moore secured his eighth win at Royal Ascot (on only the third day) aboard War Envoy in the Britannia Stakes. He has become the only jockey to reach this number since 1989 when Pat Eddery achieved the same feat. The only other post-war jockey to get eight wins in a Royal Ascot week was Lester Piggott in 1965 and 1975.

War Envoy. Image credit @Channel4Racing
War Envoy. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Seven

Trainer Aidan O’Brian watched his horse Gleneagles win the St James’s Palace Stakes giving him a record seventh victory in the race. At the end of the week O’Brian received his seventh award as most successful trainer for the festival.

Champion trainer Aidan O'Brian. Image credit @Channel4Racing
Champion trainer Aidan O’Brian. Image credit @Channel4Racing

The biggest winning margin of the week was seven lengths when Oriental Fox and jockey Joe Fanning romped home ahead of Taws in the very last race of the meeting. The win gave trainer Mark Johnston his first victory in the Queen Alexandra.

The Chesham at seven furlongs is the longest race of the week for two-year-olds.

Six

Six different jockeys’ tasted success on the last day of racing and Ryan Moore surprisingly wasn’t one of them.

Five

Royal Ascot is an incredible five day festival consisting of thirty races showcasing the best in British flat horse-racing.

The smallest field for the week seems to have been in the St James’ Palace where victorious Gleneagles only had four other competitors.

Gleneagles winner of the St James' Palace. Image credit @Channel4Racing
Gleneagles winner of the St James’ Palace. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Four

With the last race on day two of the meeting jockey Frankie Dettori secured a 50th Royal Ascot victory on board Osaila. He now forms an illustrious quartet with Lester Piggott, Willie Carson and Pat Eddery who have achieved this milestone in their racing careers.

Frankie Dettori hits 50 (but not out). Image credit @sport_oliver
Frankie Dettori hits 50 (but not out). Image credit @sport_oliver

Free Eagle had only run four previous races before securing victory in a photo-finish with The Grey Gatsby in the Duke of Cambridge.

It was four wins from four when Mahsoob was first past the post in the Wolferton.

There were four photo-finishes over the five days of racing: King’s Stand, Duke of Cambridge, Sandringham and the Chesham. Not surprisingly the shortest winning margin came from one of these races, and the accolade went to Osaila winning the Sandringham by a nose.

Three

On day one jockey Ryan Moore began his Royal Ascot Week with a terrific 54-1 treble, riding Gleneagles, Clondaw Warrior and Washington DC to victory in the final three races. He got another treble with Waterloo Bridge, Curvy and War Envoy on day three at 786-1 odds.

The GOLD CUP is only one of three races where the victor keeps the winning trophy, a Gold Cup being made especially each year.

The Queen presents trainer Ed Dunlop with the Gold Cup. Image credit @Channel4Racing
The Queen presents trainer Ed Dunlop with the Gold Cup. Image credit @Channel4Racing

It was a good week for Frankie Dettori with three wins: Osaila, Time Test and Undrafted.

Two

Father and son trainers Barry and Charlie Hills watched their horses take first and second place in the Jersey Stakes. Son Charlie’s horse Dutch Connection secured victory over Barry’s horse Fadhayyil.

Ryan Moore only managed a double on day two with Acapulco and Gm Hopkins.

In the Queen Anne Stakes it was a French double with Solow and Esoterique.

Jockey Christophe Soumillon got his second ever win of the meeting when he rode Ervedya to victory in the Coronation Stakes on day four. Ironically Christophe’s 2015 win was the only time he had success at Ascot, as his previous success in 2005 was in York as Ascot was being re-developed.

Ervedya & Soumillon a Royal Ascot winning combination. Image credit @Channel4Racing
Ervedya & Soumillon a Royal Ascot winning combination. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Jockey Richard Hughes got a 34-1 double (Illuminate 4-1, Arab Dawn 6-1) in his last Royal Ascot taking his career tally for the meeting to 30 victories. He is retiring from the saddle to take up the reins of training.

One

The final furlong can be a dangerous place and Spark Plug had an awful fall when his legs were clipped in the Royal Hunt Cup? Thankfully both horse and jockey Jimmy Fortune seemed ok afterwards.

Trip to Paris gave trainer Ed Dunlop his first win of the GOLD CUP. Jockey Graham Lee possibly became the only rider to win the GOLD CUP and the Grand National having ridden Amberleigh House to victory at Aintree in 2004. It was Graham’s first ever win at Royal Ascot too.

 Graham Lee makes his own jockey history. Image credit @Channel4Racing
Graham Lee makes his own jockey history. Image credit @Channel4Racing

War Envoy in the Britannia on day three secured a first career victory since debuting in April 2014.

Jockey Cristian Demuro achieved his first ever Royal Ascot win with Suits You in the Chesham. The horse also gave trainer Eoghan O’Neill his first ever Royal Ascot victory too.

Day four seen the FIRST EVER Grade One race for Three year-olds taking place and the race was called the Commonwealth Cup.

Bits and Pieces

Many great horses raced this week but I was personally disappointed that American horse California Chrome and Michael Owen’s horse Brown Panther couldn’t take part through injury.

The Queen Alex is a stamina sapping course and the longest race in the British flat calendar with a distance of 2m 5 ½ f.

As well as the fantastic racing over the festival a highlight on day one was the unveiling of a statue of Frankel.

Frankel statue unveiled at Royal Ascot. Image credit @tdthurgood
Frankel statue unveiled at Royal Ascot. Image credit @tdthurgood
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