Royal Ascot Golden Moments
Royal Ascot Golden Moments
The month of June is a golden one for fans of Flat racing and, for many, the highlight is the five-day Royal Ascot meeting scheduled to take place in the middle of the month.
The Berkshire course is synonymous with top-level racing and fanfare, pageantry and all the associated trimmings. There is no meeting quite like it on the British calendar.
Ahead of this year's Royal Ascot Festival, here's some memorable moments from the recent past to whet the appetitive.
Frankel – 2012
Frankel transcended racing like no other horse in recent times during his spell-binding career for the late, great trainer Sir Henry Cecil.
His bid for Queen Anne glory in 2012 came after he'd won all ten races in his career and he was long odds-on to score again.
Tom Queally's mount bounded clear of his rivals, scoring by 10 lengths to rapturous applause from the captivated audience for a truly magical Royal Ascot moment.
He would retire unbeaten and Frankel remains the standout performer of the modern-day Flat racing scene.
Choisir – 2003
Australian trainer Paul Perry sent Choisir to Royal Ascot in 2003 hoping to land his country's first success at the meeting.
His trainer labelled Choisir a "monster" but the punters were less sure, Johnny Murtagh's mount going off a 25/1 in the King's Stand Stakes.
Murtagh got to the front in the 5f dash and his powerful partner repelled all challengers to win. Perry put him back out later in the week and he completed a double by winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Yeats – 2009
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Yeats made the Ascot Gold Cup his own with four successive wins from 2006 onwards.
Rarely do Flat horses return year on year with such consistency but Yeats was a barometer of that measure, the son of Saddlers Wells recording his four wins with less than a second between his winning times.
Kieren Fallon, Mick Kinane and Johnny Murtagh rode Yeats as he became the first horse to win Gold Cup four times.
Stradivarius won the Ascot Gold Cup in 2018 and 2019 for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori and is the 2/1 favourite in the latest horse racing betting to make it a hat-trick of wins in 2020.
Estimate – 2013
Nothing gets the juices flowing like the potential for a Royal winner at the Royal meeting.
There was a real sense of anticipation for 2013 Gold Cup with legendary trainer Sir Michael Stoute saddling Estimate in the colours of Her Majesty the Queen.
Estimate had won the Queen's Vase a year previous and was fancied to go close with jockey Ryan Moore in the plate.
Moore had to galvanise Estimate in order to reel in Willie Mullins' frontrunner Simenon but once leading, he gamely battled all the way to the line to win by a neck and ensure The Queen became the first reigning monarch in the race's 207-year history to win the Ascot Gold Cup.