The opening day of Royal Ascot was staged on Tuesday at the iconic Ascot Racecourse on the outskirts of London. Prince Charles was among the royals in attendance for the high-quality day of action, which included three Group 1s.
Among the biggest stories on opening day was the admittance of 12,000 racegoers, as the UK government trials higher capacity events throughout the meeting. Below, we will run through some of the standout results from the opening day.
Palace Pier Storms Queen Anne Stakes
The opening day of the meeting got off to the perfect start for punters, as the short-priced Palace Pier stormed home for trainers John & Thady Gosden in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes. In doing so, the four-year-old booked his spot in the Breeders’ Cup FanDuel Mile for later in the season. The British raider for the Breeders’ Cup will have an outstanding chance of winning the illustrious race later in the season, as he is already seen by many as the best horse in training over the one-mile trip.
Without being too exuberant at Ascot, the four-year-old was classy and professional. Frankie Dettori was on board the highly-regarded horse, which gave spectators the perfect start to the meeting. Dettori celebrated the win by doing his trademark leap off the top of the back of the horse as he entered the winners’ enclosure.
Palace Pier was far too classy for this field, which included Breeders’ Cup Mile contender Lope Y Fernandez and Melbourne Cup contender Order Of Australia. There will certainly be stiffer assignments coming up, but on this form, Palace Pier will take some stopping.
Kaufymaker Outlasted In Coventry Stakes
One of the leading American fancies for the day came in the G2 Coventry Stakes, but Kaufymaker was outlasted by the field. The two-year-old was looking to become the first female winner of this race in 100 years and also give trainer Wesley Ward a first Ascot winner over the six furlong distance. She was among the first to show in the opening exchanges, but the speed of the race soon caught up with her in the final furlong.
Berkshire Shadow, who was an 11/1 chance for trainer Andrew Balding, claimed the win in the race with champion jockey Oisin Murphy on board. He was the strongest finisher in the race as he sped past the field in the closing furlongs. There was a massive priced runner-up, with 66/1 chance Eldrickjones for trainer Roger Fell producing a shock run. Vintage Clarets was back in third.
Oxted Wins King’s Stand, Poetic Flare Adds More Success In St James’s Palace
Elsewhere at Royal Ascot on opening day, there was a huge win for Oxted, who was smashed into 4/1 in most places ahead of the second Group 1 of the day in the King’s Stand Stakes. All the attention had been on Battaash, but Charlie Appleby admitted afterward that his lack of prep run was ultimately costly towards his chances. Arecibo was second, while American-trained Extravagant Kid finished strongly to take third.
Poetic Flare added more success to his outstanding season, as he won the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes on his fifth run of the season. He had already won the 2000 Guineas this season and created another special moment for trainer Jim Bolger. Lucky Vega finished well to finish second, while Battleground was third.
The biggest-priced winner of the day came in the Ascot Stakes, as 66/1 chance Reshoun hung on to take victory despite the late challenge by M C Muldoon. Juan Elcano won the Wolferton Stakes, while there was a second Royal Ascot winner for jockey Hollie Doyle, as she won the Copper Horse Stakes on board Amtiyaz.