Tag Archive for: Royal Ascot Festival

Nunthorpe consolation on the agenda for Manaccan

John Ryan is targeting York compensation with star sprinter Manaccan following his late withdrawal at Royal Ascot last week.

The four-year-old was due to line up as a major contender for the King’s Stand Stakes under Frankie Dettori, but was declared a non-runner on veterinary advice following his arrival at the racecourse.

While Ryan admits the decision was “hard to stomach”, he is keen to move on and hopes to see Manaccan return to competitive action in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes on August 25.

“He’s able to get out and exercise, he’s sound enough,” said Newmarket handler.

“We had a little blip there, but we’ll tick through and see if we can’t prep him for the Nunthorpe. There’s nothing else before that for him, so we’ll do our best to get there.”

Ryan believes a prolonged journey to Ascot was behind Manaccan’s reported lameness and while disappointed his stable star was unable to take his chance at the Royal meeting, he accepts the decision made by the on-course veterinary team.

“It was an annoyance to say the least, but those things have to be abided by,” he added.

Trainer John Ryan at Yarmouth
Trainer John Ryan at Yarmouth (Simon Cooper/PA)

“He got to the racecourse and although he was sound, he’d given himself a knock and as a precaution, the vets felt it wasn’t worth taking a chance.

“I don’t disagree, if there’s doubt you’re better to be safe than sorry and we’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“He had a long travel up – he was in the box for over three and a half hours. It usually takes just over an hour and a half from Newmarket and he left early in the morning, but there were accidents and stuff so you can imagine it was tough for him in that heat.

“It was one of those things, it happens. It was hard to stomach on the day as there won’t be another King’s Stand this year, but there will be another option.”

‘All good’ with Desert Crown, as Derby winner resumes cantering duties

Desert Crown is back in light exercise following the setback which ruled him out of Royal Ascot.

Last year’s Derby winner has only been seen once in public since his famous Epsom win, when surprisingly beaten by Hukum at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes.

He wowed gallop watchers when tuning up for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Frankie Dettori had been booked for the big day, but just over a week beforehand connections were dealt a blow.

Following a routine gallop he was giving off cause for concern and while no major damage has been discovered, Sir Michael Stoute’s colt was unable to go to Ascot.

Philip Robinson, owner Saeed Suhail’s assistant racing manager, said: “He’s started cantering, having been walking all last week, and is all is good.

“Nothing showed up on any scans or X-rays or anything, so it must have just been a bruise or something like that which just set him back 10 days.

“I’m not sure where he’ll run, I wouldn’t have thought Sir Michael will rush him back, he’ll just take his time and when he’s back in full work then he’ll make a plan.

“It was just one of those really unfortunate things that happens with horses, but they are athletes and these things happen.”

Bluestocking under consideration for Irish Oaks outing

Bluestocking showed enough in her performance at Royal Ascot last week to put herself in the picture for a tilt at the Juddmonte Irish Oaks later this month.

An impressive winner on her sole juvenile start at Salisbury, Ralph Beckett’s filly was being considered for the Betfred Oaks at Epsom prior to her narrow defeat by Warm Heart on her reappearance in a Listed contest at Newbury last month.

With the daughter of Camelot still showing signs of inexperience, the decision was made to bypass Epsom in favour of a tilt at the Ribblesdale Stakes – but while she again ran well in defeat, this time she was beaten almost four lengths into third place by the reopposing Warm Heart.

Barry Mahon, racing manager for owner-breeders Juddmonte, is of the opinion there should be more to come from Bluestocking and she could now head for the Curragh on July 22 in a bid for Classic glory.

“I was absolutely delighted with how Bluestocking ran,” he said.

“We saw how green she was in Newbury and Frankie (Dettori) said she was still a bit green the other day – he said it took her a bit of time to get used to the hustle and bustle of having horses around her.

“She then settled into a lovely rhythm and fell asleep under him. He tried to wake her up again coming round the bend and it just took her half a furlong too long to get into top gear. With a few horses coming back on top of her, she just couldn’t get competitive, but you’d love the way she hit the line.”

Ralph Beckett trains Bluestocking
Ralph Beckett trains Bluestocking (Mike Egerton/PA)

Considering future plans, Mahon added: “I think if she’s fit and well we’ll definitely consider the Irish Oaks. The fractions suggest they went very slowly at Ascot and I think a strongly-run mile and a half will be more her cup of tea.

“The Curragh would suit her and if we got a little bit of rain between now and then all the better.”

While Bluestocking and St James’s Palace Stakes runner-up Chaldean had to make do with minor honours, Juddmonte did get on the Royal Ascot winner’s board with Coppice in the Sandringham Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden’s filly was supplementing a comfortable victory at Newcastle, having previously failed to fire in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket, and the success came as no surprise to Mahon.

He said: “It was a great performance. We started the year with high hopes – as Frankie alluded to after she won we thought she was a Guineas filly in the spring, but for obvious reasons she was just slow to come to hand.

“John and Thady went the patient route and it paid off. It was nice to get the winner on the board and she’s definitely an exciting filly for the remainder of the year.

“I don’t really know where she’ll go. The Falmouth would be a big step and if Laurel gets over her little setback in time that’s where she’ll go, all going well.

“For Coppice it would be nice to get black type with her, so we could look at a Listed race or a Group Three with her to get some black type in the bank.”

The Juddmonte team did suffer a couple of notable disappointments at the Royal meeting, with Arrest and Covey both performing below expectations.

Chester Vase winner Arrest failed to bounce back from Derby disappointment
Chester Vase winner Arrest failed to bounce back from Derby disappointment (David Davies/PA)

Arrest was bidding to bouncing back from a Derby no-show in the King Edward VII Stakes, but finished fifth of sixth, while Covey was a well-beaten favourite in the Jersey.

“We were worried about the ground for Arrest, we took a chance and it didn’t pay off. We’ll freshen him up and bring him back for an autumn campaign when there’s a bit of juice in the ground,” Mahon added.

“I was a little disappointed with Covey, he ran a little too free, Frankie just said he ran with the choke out the whole way.

“I think he’s definitely a better horse than we saw the other day and what came out of it is that on a straight track he just tends to over-race a little bit.

“He can still be a nice horse, but maybe he needs to go around a bend.”

Shaquille team basking in Group One glory

Connections of Shaquille are keen to let the dust settle on his popular success at Royal Ascot, with a decision on his July Cup participation to be made closer to the time.

The three-year-old recovered from a tardy start to provide trainer Julie Camacho and her husband and assistant Steve Brown with a first taste of Group One success in Friday’s Commonwealth Cup.

There did not appear to be any fluke about the Charm Spirit colt’s defeat of hot favourite Little Big Bear in Berkshire and Brown admits the success has left the team in North Yorkshire on cloud nine.

“We’re back to reality, but obviously everyone is still on a high and there’s a great feel to the yard, which is wonderful. We’re looking forward to the next chapter, hopefully,” he said.

“We’ll plan to have a proper party at some stage. We had brunch on Monday morning for the staff and thanked them for their efforts and made them understand how important they are in all of this.

“It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s a lovely feeling and one we hope we can replicate again soon.”

Brown reports Shaquille to have taken his exertions well, although he will not return to work until later in the week.

He added: “He’s come back really well, he’s in good form. He’s incredibly straightforward, physically and mentally he’s a very strong horse.

“That’s the one thing I’ve said throughout – we’ve never seen this horse look tired. He came back and he’s enjoyed a few days turned out in his paddock for a couple of hours a day and he’ll probably start some cantering exercise towards the end of the week.

“We like our horses to have a good recovery after they’ve run and Wednesday is physio day so he’ll be checked over to make sure everything is A1 before we start again.”

Brown admits he thought Shaquille had blown his chances of Royal Ascot success after rearing up just as the stalls opened and feels the coolness of jockey Oisin Murphy played a huge part in his recovery.

Steve Brown congratulates Oisin Murphy following Shaquille's Royal Ascot triumph
Steve Brown congratulates Oisin Murphy following Shaquille’s Royal Ascot triumph (John Walton/PA)

He said: “Your natural reaction is ‘this isn’t going to work out’ when you see a horse concede that amount of ground, but Oisin was just perfect on him, wasn’t he?

“He showed a wise head, really didn’t rush him and the performance came from the fact that the jockey was eminently sensible and every move he made was the correct one. I think without that we wouldn’t have won the race, so great credit to Oisin.”

Shaquille will be campaigned exclusively at Group One level for the rest of the season, with Newmarket’s July Cup, the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in August, the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September and the Qipco British Champions Sprint back at Ascot in October all in the melting pot.

“The July Cup is the next thing on the map. It comes around quite quickly and it’s one of those situations where you’ll know where you are in 10 days time as you’ll learn how looks and how he feels in himself. You can make a more informed decision closer to the time,” Brown went on.

“He’s obviously in it and he’s a leading fancy for the race. There’s three more domestic Group Ones and it might not be the worst thing in the world if you just concentrated on them, but obviously you’ve got the French race in early August as well.

Shaquille and Oisin Murphy return
Shaquille and Oisin Murphy return (PA)

“With any horse you need to be flexible with your thoughts, but those are the four races I think we’ll be looking at and we’ll just try to get him in the best possible shape for wherever he goes.

“I don’t think we’ll be going further afield at this moment in time. He’s still a young horse who is still maturing physically and mentally. I think we need to be sensible and recognise that.”

With Shaquille now a Group One-winning colt, there is bound to be interest from prospective buyers, but Brown revealed no firm offers have been made at this stage.

Brown said: “There’s been two or three expressions of interest in him, but no more than that at this moment in time that I’m aware of.

“I think that’s natural now we’ve moved into that sort of field. At the moment we’re just concentrating on his next race.”

Chesham victor Snellen has summer targets closer to home

Gavin Cromwell is eyeing a possible crack at the Debutante Stakes before bidding for Group One glory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes with his Royal Ascot winner Snellen.

The unbeaten filly just held on in a tight finish from Aidan O’Brien’s Pearls And Rubies in the Chesham over seven furlongs on Saturday.

Incredibly she was just Cromwell’s second Royal Ascot runner, with the first, Quick Suzy, winning the Queen Mary in 2021.

“It was great, pinch yourself kind of stuff really, to be honest. Very exciting and enjoyable, and a brilliant experience,” said Cromwell.

“She came home fine, 100 per cent. We’ll give a little break for a few weeks and we’ll make a plan.

“She’s entered in the Moyglare (September 10, Curragh) and has the Debutante (August 19, Curragh) as an option on the way as well. She’s home safe and sound and that’s the main thing.

“Ascot is a brilliant place and its very special to win there. Quick Suzy won there two years ago and there was only a small crowd after covid.

“There was a full house on Saturday and a massive atmosphere. It was a big occasion.

“We’re two from two there now so I’ll have to be very selective to keep up that strike-rate!”

Connections of Chaldean happy to take on Paddington rematch

Chaldean could renew rivalry with his Royal Ascot conqueror Paddington in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in August.

Last week’s St James’s Palace Stakes featured a mouthwatering clash between the two Classic winners, with 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean the marginal favourite over the Irish Guineas victor Paddington.

Frankie Dettori attempted to make all the running aboard Andrew Balding’s Juddmonte-owned colt, who had no answer when Aidan O’Brien’s charge quickened away from him in the straight.

There were almost four lengths between the pair at the line, but Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon would be happy to see a rematch under different circumstances.

He said: “He ran a great race, to be fair. The winner is obviously a very a good horse who is improving quickly and we were happy with our lad.

“We would have probably liked a lead. The early pace was pretty frenetic, I think Frankie just felt he couldn’t get a breather into him the whole way and it just cost him when he turned in.

“All told it was a nice run and we look forward to taking on the winner again some day.”

O’Brien nominated the Sussex Stakes as an option for Paddington in the immediate aftermath of his Ascot triumph and Mahon also views the Group One contest as the “obvious” next port of call for Chaldean.

Frankie Dettori with Chaldean after winning the 2000 Guineas
Frankie Dettori with Chaldean after winning the 2000 Guineas (David Davies/The Jockey Club)

“That looks the next obvious target. Let’s see how he bounces out of it, Andrew said to me the next day he was in good shape but I haven’t really touched base with him since,” Mahon added.

“He’s not in the Prix Jean Prat, but that could be an option if Andrew thought it was the right thing to do.

“He’s a top-class horse. I suppose it’s more disappointing when you’re beaten if you have an unbeaten record, but luckily we were beaten in our maiden and Frankie fell off him in the Greenham at Newbury!

“We know he’s still a nice horse to look forward to for the rest of the year.”

Sakheer ‘unsound’ following Commonwealth Cup disappointment

Roger Varian has revealed Sakheer is being investigated for “front limb lameness” following his disappointing run at Royal Ascot last week.

The Zoffany colt won two of his three juvenile starts last season, including the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, and seemingly failed to stay a mile on his reappearance in the 2000 Guineas.

Dropping back to six furlongs, hopes were high ahead of Friday’s Commonwealth Cup, but Sakheer trailed home last of 13 runners.

Trainer Roger Varian at York
Trainer Roger Varian at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

Varian believes he may have unearthed a valid excuse for that disheartening display, though, posting on Twitter: “Unfortunately Sakheer is not 100 per cent following his run in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on Friday.

“He is currently unsound and being investigated for a front limb lameness. He will require a period of time out of training but will return to the track later in the year.

“Whilst this is obviously disappointing, it does go some way to explaining his below-par performance.”

Soprano to step up after Albany effort

Soprano could be set for a step up in trip after her fine third to Porta Fortuna in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The George Boughey-trained filly was well supported in the six-furlong Group Three contest following her smart debut win over the minimum trip at Newmarket.

However, she did not have the ideal draw and despite staying on nicely under William Buick, the daughter of Starspangledbanner could not reduce a diminishing two-length deficit at the line.

Harry Herbert, managing director for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, believes she will develop into another top-class prospect.

“We were really excited by that,” he said. “She looked like a really good filly. She had run and won on debut like a very good filly, and she’d done well physically entering the Royal meeting.

“As William Buick said afterwards, if she’d have just broken a bit better and been drawn a bit better, she would definitely have tickled them up.

“She is a beautiful filly and she’s got size and scope. She needs to go further. We haven’t decided where to go, but we will plot a course.

“It is very exciting, because it looks like she deserves to play at the top table. We’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful fillies in recent years, and she looks like being another one.”

Highclere appear to have another smart filly on their hands in the shape of Truthful.

Truthful returns to the Haydock winner's enclosure
Truthful returns to the Haydock winner’s enclosure (PA)

Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old by Sea The Stars made a winning debut at Salisbury last month, taking 10-furlong fillies’ novice race and followed up over an extended 11 furlongs at Haydock 12 days ago.

Herbert believes she will step up in class now. He said: “She is lovely filly. She is two for two and we’ll probably step up to black type next time.

“She looks like she could be very special. There is lots to look forward to.

“I don’t know where she goes next. It is hard to know, when you are rated like she is, whether you still stick in a valuable handicap or whether you move to Listed company.

“She was being considered by William for the Ribblesdale after one run, so I’d like to think she’ll be heading to a black type race next time.”

Herbert is the son of the late Queen’s legendary racing manager Lord Porchester and his brother-in-law John Warren currently fills that role.

The King and Queen, attending their first Royal Ascot since the coronation, saw their colours carried to victory by Desert Hero in the King George V Stakes, which Herbert felt was a major shot in the arm for British racing.

“It was an absolutely fantastic Royal Ascot in regards to the overall event,” he added.

“I thought it was extraordinary and of course it was a sort of turning of the page from the late Queen, and the King and Queen so obviously enjoying it and having a winner was wonderful.

“That winner was quite simply one of the greatest things that could possibly have ever happened, great for British racing and the whole event.

“It was remarkable. They enjoyed every bit of it, right through the five days and having a winner, and we all know how hard that is – there are so few races and they’re such competitive races – that to hit the back of the net at Royal Ascot is incredibly difficult.

The King and Queen were in attendance throughout the five days
The King and Queen were in attendance throughout the five days (David Davies/PA)

“It is hugely important that the King and Queen have invested in the sport, absolutely vital. We all know how international Royal Ascot is, the Australians are over here, the Americans are over here, some Japanese are over here.

“Everywhere I have ever gone, racing the world, it is the one place everyone wants to go to, and to ideally have a runner and, if at all possible, a winner.

“It was a fantastic event and I thought it was great that it went off so brilliantly all round.”

Gosden salutes the magic of Dettori following final Royal Ascot

His close friend John Gosden put it best – Frankie Dettori has taken the blows and still come out on top.

The Newmarket trainer will be in his corner for the duration of the Italian’s long farewell season, as he has been throughout.

Bookmakers may have dodged a few body blows at Ascot, yet the lush green strip of Berkshire turf, the scene of his 1996 ‘Magnificent Seven’, has always been Dettori’s favourite area.

A Gold Cup and three further winners made it 81 career victories at Royal Ascot, the most prestigious of meetings.

Gosden knows exactly what the week meant to the 52-year-old.

He said: “It was a huge week for him. He was very, very keen to go out at the top, not to become suddenly this sad, unwanted figure.”

Epsom and Royal Ascot are the only Flat events that really matter to those with an idle interest in the sport. Victory in the Coronation Cup and the Oaks had given the Italian the spotlight he thrives upon.

Ascot Gold Cup glory aboard inexperienced partner Courage Mon Ami ticked the second box and will surely have been enough to secure him a BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination at the very least.

Dettori’s career, the highs and lows, the ecstasy, showmanship and mood swings, is well documented.

Frankie Dettori leaps from Sandringham winner Coppice after recording the 81st winner of his Royal Ascot career
Frankie Dettori leaps from Sandringham winner Coppice after recording the 81st winner of his Royal Ascot career (David Davies/PA)

What is not, is the important part he has played behind the scenes for Gosden and his son Thady, who will some day take over at Clarehaven.

“We have had a lot of fun together, from 1993-94 onwards, we’ve had a lot of fun,” said Gosden senior.

“When he arrived on my doorstep during the first year and he’d shaved his head, I thought he’d sent his cousin!

“Three years champion jockey, then the Godolphin job, then that ended. He was knocking around a bit.

“In 2008 he won a Breeders’ Cup Classic (with Raven’s Pass) for me – that is not easily forgotten, between the end of Godolphin and the beginning of our run.

“William (Buick) went to Godolphin and then we’ve had an absolute ball since then, from Golden Horn (winning the Derby) on through with Enable and all those fabulous horses.”

Gosden was there for him when things went sour at Godolphin, when he was handed a six-month suspension after a failed a drug test in France, when he was at his lowest.

“If you check the stats, he had a terrible year with 16 winners,” added the trainer, referring to his annus horribilis in 2013, after which he renewed his partnership. “He knows what it’s like to be shoved into the twilight zone.”

Every low point, the omnipresent Gosden was the father figure, sometimes stern, sometimes frustrated, always adoring, unwavering in the belief that Dettori’s ability could overcome any pitfalls.

They have had their ups and down, of course. Just 12 months ago, all was not well during a terrible Ascot, capped by Stradivarius’ defeat in the Gold Cup.

Arguably, he received a thinly-veiled kick up the backside from Gosden for his work ethic, though the trainer refutes that.

“After his lean spell, he just came to me and had nice horses to ride and we worked together as a team. He never ever needed that (kick up the backside). Every marriage has its ebbs and flows and last year was no different. It was quickly forgotten.”

The last two Royal meetings could arguably be a microcosm of Dettori’s career.

There is another six months of the final chapter to write, yet the Gold Cup – his ninth – could be the crowning moment, two days after picking up a nine-day careless riding ban aboard the King and Queen’s Saga in the Wolferton Stakes.

The story of this year’s renewal? To some, it will be this – has a Gold Cup winner ever been given a cooler or more stylish ride? Until a few strides before the final furlong, Dettori did not visibly move a muscle.

He kidded the free-going Courage Mon Ami round the final turn, saving ground, and while for a split second it looked as if the bird – Coltrane – had flown, the imperious Dettori waited, daringly switching left under two furlongs out.

Albany winner Porta Fortuna gave Dettori an 80th winner at the meeting, sparking a Friday double for the rider
Albany winner Porta Fortuna gave Dettori an 80th winner at the meeting, sparking a Friday double for the rider (John Walton/PA)

Such was his ease of success in the end, it seemed as if the first time he took his hands off the reins was to thrust a right-hand skywards in a triumphant salute. That was not the case, of course. It took plenty of guile and muscle for the rider to redress the deficit.

If Gosden was surprised the four-year-old, with just three previous runs, had won, his emotions were the polar opposite for the ride, a gift honed on those oft-cold winter mornings on the gallops.

“You give him nice horses, have him come in the morning, discuss the horses, he is a fabulous judge as a work-rider. Not all jockeys are like that,” revealed Gosden.

“Great judge, Frankie. Gives you a very good idea of where you are going, where you are not going. He’s quick to feel that.

“It is one of his great assets is as a jockey in the morning. The afternoon is one thing, but the morning is fantastic. It is the intuition, feel and experience he has with horses. The feel, the instinctive feel – he has that.

“His father was champion jockey, his mother came from an amazing circus family, he was bred to be a phenomenal athlete. It’s great, it was just that time before he joined me again in 2015 when it wasn’t pleasant to witness.

“But now he’s through, we’ve had a wonderful run. We’ve had some great fun. He’s had a great Ascot and it’s great to go out and walk away carrying all the belts, not being on the bottom of the canvas.”

‘I’m just too tired to cry!’ – Dettori says farewell to Royal Ascot

Frankie Dettori may have come away empty handed from the final day of his last ever Royal Ascot – but the affection felt for the rider was still palpable throughout the racecourse that has been the scene of so much success.

The Italian will bow out at the end of the year, meaning his tour of this season’s fixtures is a farewell to the sport he has dominated for decades.

The Gold Cup is the feature race of the five days and Dettori’s triumph seemed to be fated as he guided John and Thady Gosden’s Courage Mon Ami to victory when rolling the dice for the last time on Thursday.

Frankie Dettori and Jamie Snowden arrive by carriage for day five of Royal Ascot
Frankie Dettori and Jamie Snowden arrive by carriage for day five of Royal Ascot (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The remainder of the week could not reach quite the same high note in terms of his rides, but there was another significant moment as the jockey and his wife were a part of the royal procession that is led by the King and Queen from Windsor Castle to the course.

“I was sad this morning but once I was up and running doing things, I went to Windsor Castle to have lunch with the King and the Queen,” Dettori said.

“I didn’t eat at all, I had a full-fat Coca Cola and I looked across and the King wasn’t eating himself. We were both fasting, I don’t know why because I was riding and he wasn’t – he must be on a diet!

“It’s been really amazing, I’ve been pulled left, right and centre by everyone, cheered by everyone so it’s been very overwhelming, but I haven’t had time to get emotional. I’ll enjoy this moment, I’m looking forward to a nice beer actually – but don’t tell anyone that!

“The royal procession was amazing, to see all the people there. Then I rode in five races back-to-back, I’m done!

“It was an amazing experience to look at the grandstand. The whole ride here, the love the people have for the royals, flags, kids, picnics next to the road, banners, shouting, cheering – amazing. I was the last carriage so by the time they got to me they forgot! But it was an amazing experience.”

Frankie Dettori celebrates with an oversized bottle of Moet & Chandon after completing his final Royal Ascot before retirement
Frankie Dettori celebrates with an oversized bottle of Moet & Chandon after completing his final Royal Ascot before retirement (David Davies/PA)

Dettori has recorded 81 Royal Ascot victories and though there is some sadness at leaving it behind, he is not short of memories as second only to Lester Piggott as the most successful rider the showpiece fixture has ever seen

“It’s 81 and every one is special. I’d be here all day talking about all of them, but the last Gold Cup was the biggest race of the week and to win that was amazing,” he said.

“My wife is presenting the last trophy and she’s cross with me that I’m not riding! It will take a while to sink in, but you’ve got to look at the positive side of it, I’ve had a real good time.

“This week has been so hard, but I loved it. It hasn’t hit me yet that it’s my last Royal Ascot because it’s been so good, I won the Gold Cup, had four winners, got past 80 which is what I wanted to do. I’m sure I will be sad, but for now I’m just too tired to cry!

I’m looking forward to a nice dinner, I will take a few days off with my wife and then regroup and start again.

“It has been sensational. I can still claim that I retired second at the all-time best meeting in the world.

“I’m not going to die! I’m riding another four months so don’t make me feel sad, I’m still around!”

Catherine Dettori presents Ryan Moore with his award after winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes
Catherine Dettori presents Ryan Moore with his award after winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes (David Davies/PA)

Ryan Moore took the honours in the last race of the meeting – receiving his trophy from Catherine Dettori – and indeed for the week as he was crowned top jockey for the 10th time. He paid a warm tribute to his long-time colleague and rival.

“It’s hard to know what to say, we’ll miss him, but he still has a bit to go yet,” he said.

“I remember Frankie riding for my grandfather when I was small, the reality is he is the most beautiful rider you’ve ever seen and if you wanted to build a jockey that is how you’d build one.

“He’s an unbelievable talent, he’s a tough boy as well. He’s always wanted to be at the top and he’s stayed there for 35 years – that takes some doing.”

Dawn Rising seals another fine week for Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore landed his sixth and final winner of the week as Dawn Rising justified favouritism in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the six-year-old was having just his sixth run on the Flat, but he is a Grade Three winner over hurdles.

Never far from the pace, Dawn Rising had to be rousted along some way out by Moore but he kept on finding for pressure.

Typewriter then burst through against the rail looking a huge threat under Oisin Murphy but soon faltered and it was The Grand Visir who laid down the final challenge, going down by half a length. Run For Oscar stayed on for third.

Dawn Rising, a rare 2-1 winning favourite this week, was providing O’Brien with his second winner of the meeting after the success of Okita Soushi.

6.10pm Queen Alexandra Stakes

Moore rounds off another brilliant Royal Ascot with sixth win of the week

Ryan Moore put the seal on a 10th Royal Ascot Leading Jockey title by lifting home Dawn Rising (2/1F) in the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained six-year-old was always close to the pace under Moore, who kicked for home off the final turn and his mount kept finding to repel the challenge of The Grand Visir by half a length.

Dawn Rising, who carries the colours of legendary owner JP McManus, becomes the 12th Irish-trained winner of the meeting and the sixth for his jockey, whose Royal Ascot total now stands at 79, two behind Frankie Dettori.

Moore said: “Joseph had Dawn Rising beautifully prepared for today. He has been jumping and won a Graded race over jumps during the winter, and today he got himself into a nice spot and I just gradually built along. It’s nice to finish the week with a winner.

“I hadn’t really asked him for everything and he was always finding plenty. Joseph’s horses can do that.”

O’Brien said: “It has been a wonderful week’s racing. It’s great to get a couple of winners, and it was a fantastic ride from Ryan.

“This horse is a dour stayer and that is what you need in a race like this. JP (McManus, owner) supports everyone in racing so well and it’s great to get a winner here in his colours.”

O’Brien and Moore crowned kings of Royal Ascot again

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore picked up the top trainer and jockey awards for the week at Royal Ascot.

Finishing with four winners, O’Brien was landing his 12th trainer title and Moore his 10th jockeys’ crown following his six victories – fittingly taking the closing race, the Queen Alexandra Stakes, with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Dawn Rising.

The highlight for both was the emphatic success of Paddington in the St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening afternoon.

TV presenter Clive Myrie presents the leading jockey trophy to Ryan Moore
TV presenter Clive Myrie presents the leading jockey trophy to Ryan Moore (David Davies/PA)

O’Brien said: “It is a privilege for us, we are in a very privileged position and really appreciate it.

“The team make it all happen for us all. We really appreciate it, it’s great to be a part of it.

“It’s very special for the two lads (Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien) to have winners as well. We know how difficult it is – we came here a lot of years with a lot of horses and didn’t have any winners. It’s very, very competitive, fiercely competitive. When you come here and have a winner, it’s such a privilege.

“I suppose it is very hard to get away from Paddington (as highlight), he looks very different. I know Ryan was always taken by him and I think he was really blown away. He has come out of the race fine.

“We had plenty of placed horses too, and we have been delighted that they were placed.”

Saluting Moore, O’Brien added: “Ryan is a superstar, that’s the word that describes him best.”

Moore said: “I had good rides, and I would have liked a few more (winners). Aidan’s horses have been in great form. I’d like to think it has been, and hope it has been, a good week for racing.”

Dettori out luck on final Royal Ascot ride, as Burdett Road takes Golden Gates

Frankie Dettori was out of luck on his final Royal Ascot ride as Knockbrex trailed home well beaten in the Golden Gates Stakes won by Burdett Road.

Dettori went into an early lead on Charlie Johnston’s charge, but the writing was on the wall before the turn for home and he quickly backpeddled.

That left Liberty Lane in front but he too paid for his early exertions, as Neil Callan made stealthy progress on Michael Bell’s three-year-old.

Burdett Road (20-1) went several lengths clear and the race looked over. However, a combination of tiredness and being in front on his own meant he was in danger of being caught.

Lion Of War, briefly stuck in traffic earlier in the straight, came with a late rattle but the 9-2 joint-favourite could only close to within three-quarters of a length.

It was a second winner of the week for Callan having won the Queen Anne on Triple Time.

Bell said: “He loved that fast ground when he won at Newbury so we were hopeful he’d be effective today. It was a much deeper race, he’s not done much since Newbury, he is very good looking horse, bred by Gredleys, who we have been lucky for, so I’m delighted.

“The colours have been lucky, and the Gredleys have been great breeders for many years. Bill is not here today, but he will be thrilled, watching at home, he was on the gallops this morning and was here on Thursday.

“It is very hard, the most difficult thing about training when you have been doing it for as long as me, when you can clearly do the job, is getting the well-bred horse to walk through the door. You can’t train fresh air!

“We are lucky we have the Gredleys and many other nice horses. It is tough old business, but we are lucky to have what we have and very grateful for another winner here.”

Hollie Doyle and Saint Lawrence are Wokingham wonders

Saint Lawrence returned to winning ways in the Wokingham Stakes to oblige on his first start for Archie Watson and provide Hollie Doyle with a third victory at this year’s Royal Ascot .

A Listed winner at two for Roger Varian, the five-year-old had run several good races since but failed to get his head in front.

After two further runs for Varian this season, owner John Deer decided to move him to Watson, already on the mark twice this week with Bradsell and Rhythm N Hooves, both ridden by Doyle.

Drawn highest of all in stall 30, the high numbers looked a long way behind at halfway as the Swedish raider Duca Di Como set a blistering gallop on the far side.

Just over a furlong out the pace appeared to collapse in that group, though, allowing those drawn high to close up.

It was Doyle and Saint Lawrence (22-1) who finished fastest of all, to beat Apollo One by a length with Juan Le Pins third and Mums Tipple fourth for Frankie Dettori.

Watson said: “I’m delighted and just very grateful to Mr Deer for sending him to us, he just felt he would benefit from a change of scenery. He’s always shown us plenty at home, he’s a very nice horse to have around and I’m just delighted to get the job done on first time of asking.

“I fancied all three of them (stable’s runners), I made sure Hollie chose which one to ride so it wasn’t my fault and she she chose right! He’s run a huge race and I’m delighted.”

Reflecting on his Royal Ascot week, he said: “It’s incredible. We came here with a handful of 20-1 shots really, and to win three races is just beyond my wildest dreams. It’s amazing.”

All smiles for Hollie Doyle
All smiles for Hollie Doyle (David Davies/PA)

Doyle added: “We’re a great team and I don’t feel any pressure when riding for Archie. I know his horses inside out and he leaves it to me most of the time. Thankfully it has paid off.

“It’s been an amazing week for both me and Tom (Marquand, husband), and it’s great having our families here. My dad couldn’t be here today, but he’s glued to the TV at home.

“I can’t put it into words – to have the winner (Bradsell) on the first day was amazing and you think ‘well, we’ll do well to better that’ so to walk away from Royal Ascot with three winners, after being off for three months at the start of the year )with a broken elbow), is incredible.

“I needed quite a lot of work done and had an operation after a delay, but I said as long as I’m back by Royal Ascot I don’t mind.”

Pyledriver returns in brilliant style to land Hardwicke success

Pyledriver once again showed his liking for Ascot when defying an absence of almost a year to win the Hardwicke Stakes.

The hugely popular six-year-old has been beset by niggling injuries since winning the King George V And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July last year.

Winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at this meeting in 2020, he looked to have hampered his chance in the first half-mile by running extremely keenly.

PJ McDonald was riding his first Royal Ascot winner having replaced the injured Martin Dwyer, while trainers William Muir and Chris Grassick have worked wonders getting their stable star back to full fitness.

As if to advertise his superiority over his rivals, once he hit the front Pyledriver (7-2) wandered in front of Changingoftheguard and West Wind Blows but went on to cross the line a length and a quarter clear of the latter. A stewards’ inquiry was called, but the placings remained unaltered.

A jubilant Muir said: “He’s done two pieces of work with one other horse, but the last piece was so good it told me we were close to how we had him before the Sheema Classic.

“He’s been in the spa three times a day, a masseur has been over one a week and my vet has been fantastic. It’s been a real team effort.

“Martin Dwyer did a lot towards making this horse and he knows how he can roll around like he did today.

Pyledriver (red cap) again shone at Ascot
Pyledriver (red cap) again shone at Ascot (John Walton/PA)

“It’s the one kink in his armour, but I knew he would go out there and die on his sword. And he did roll across the other horse, but the best horse won.

“I told PJ this horse will show you how good he is first time out, and whatever they say he finished in front.

“We will see how he is tomorrow and the next day, but all things being equal he will be back for another shot at the King George.”

McDonald – who won the Scottish National in his days as a jumps rider – said: “I haven’t sat on this horse since last year’s King George – the lads just said ‘you keep away, you’re better off not complicating things’. What a performance to get this fella back today.

“This is Royal Ascot… I’m 41 years of age and I’ve been coming here a bit, but you need a good horse coming here. There’s no point unless you have a good animal – whatever happens now I’m a Royal Ascot winner!”

Pyledriver returns with PJ McDonald
Pyledriver returns with PJ McDonald (PA)

Ed Crisford, who trains West Wind Blows with his father, Simon, said: “He ran an absolutely super race.

“I think there you can say he definitely stays a mile and a half, because there’s always been these question marks. But he kept running true to the line there and I would say that’s his career-best performance. He is a very exciting horse to have in the stable.

“We always had this race in mind. We thought we would take him to France to get that win into him and a bit of confidence into him, and he won well there, but he’s a gelding now and an improving horse.”