The most elite competition in the UK and one of the most valuable races in the world is currently taking place in Ascot, Berkshire. Royal Ascot is also a high-society event of the year, its tradition stretching back to 1711, when Queen Anne announced that the field is to become a place for races. Today, it is an opportunity for ladies and gentlemen to wear some very fancy hats and enjoy the said races.
This year, the five-day event started on Tuesday 19 June, and will last until Saturday 23 June.
The opening day of Royal Ascot saw the 47-year-old jockey Frankie Detorri win three races: in the Coventry Stakes on Calyx, in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Without Parole, and in the Wolferton Stakes on Monarchs Glen. The second victory made him third-most successful Royal Ascot jockey of all time, preceded only by Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery.
On Day 2 we had Expert Eye winning the Jersey Stakes and Settle For Bay winning the Royal Hunt Cup. Most shockingly, everyone’s favourite Cracksman was outrun by Poet’s Word in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, making Sir Michael Stoute the winning-most trainer in the history of Royal Ascot, with 76 triumphs. Stoute commented: “It’s a relief because we were stuck on it [75 winners] last year. It [Royal Ascot] is special to every trainer. We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of nice horses over the years.”
Another notable victory was accomplished by Aljazzi, who finished first in Duke of Cambridge Stakes, under Buick.
The Ladies Day saw Stradivarius, an offspring of 2009 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sea The Stars, take the Gold Cup under Frankie Detorri. Vazerabad and Torcedor finished second and third, respectively. This is Detorri’s sixth Gold Cup and after the race he said for the BBC: “”He was a lion, he fought everything off. The crowd lifted him. I just wanted to time it right. I come alive here, I love it. To win the Gold Cup again, which is the showcase race of the week, is just amazing.”
Friday’s schedule (source: BBC)
14:30: The Albany Stakes (Group 3) 6f
15:05: The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) 1m 4f
15:40: Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) 6f
16:20: Coronation Stakes (Group 1) Old mile
17:00: Sandringham Stakes (Listed) (Handicap) 1m
17:35: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) 1m 4f