The crowds were back for day 1 of Royal Ascot 2021, at least 12,000 of them anyway.
The fashion and the horses were sharing an almost equal spotlight, but with three Group 1 races on the opening card there was little doubt about the sporting quality on show.
2021 Royal Ascot Results – Tuesday 15th June 2021
After several new races were added last year, a few remained for 2021. They include the Copper Horse Stakes which finished this day one card, seven races in total making up Tuesday.
Royal Ascot Day One on Tuesday 15th June 2021 got going in the highest-profile way possible. The Queen Anne Stakes was one of three Group 1 races on the day. The King’s Stand Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes being the others.
14:30 – Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1 Class 1)(4yo+) 1m
|1st||Palace Pier||2/7 Fav||John & Thady Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2nd||Lope Y Fernandez||12/1||A P O’Brien||Seamie Heffernan|
|3rd||Sir Busker||12/1||William Knight||Oisin Murphy|
There can be no better way to begin a race meeting. Not only was the Queen Anne Stakes a Group 1, but it featured the best miler in the world right now – Palace Pier.
Already odds-on in the run-up to the event, his price contracted before the off all the way down to 2/7. Having made his customary tardy start, Frankie Dettori’s mount quickly found his stride and never really looked in any danger. His rider just cajoled him along with three furlongs to go and having hit the front at the furlong pole it was all over.
Palace Pier was admittedly a little lazy towards the line. That is something his sire, Kingman, was also guilty of but the result was as expected. John & Thady Gosden’s star ran out the 1½-length winner from Lope Y Fernandez at the line, while 22/1 shot Sir Busker ran brilliantly back in third.
The crowd were treated to a Frankie Dettori flying dismount in the winners’ enclosure. What a great way to start.
15:05 – Coventry Stakes (Group 2 Class 1) 2yo 6f
|1st||Berkshire Shadow||11/1||Andrew Balding||Oisin Murphy|
|2nd||Eldrickjones||66/1||Roger Fell||Daniel Tudhope|
|3rd||Vintage Clarets||25/1||Richard Fahey||Paul Hanagan|
17 juveniles lined up for the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. On genuinely fast racing ground, this six-furlong race was always going to be fast and furious and so it proved.
The pace was picked up as expected by the likes of Kaufymaker. Wesley Ward’s American raider was all speed, but she and her pals simply set this race up.
The near side was the place to be and that’s where the race unfolded in the final two furlongs. Well-backed favourite Dhabab came with a run, while Eldrickjones had made his way right over from stall 2.
The best finishing speed was shown by Andrew Balding’s Berkshire Shadow who burst through to lead with half a furlong to go and pulled clear under a delighted Oisin Murphy to score by 1¼ lengths.
Eldrickjones was back in second and Vintage Clarets ran third, but the horse to take from this race was Dhabab. The Gosden runner was badly blocked at a crucial stage, Rab Havlin having to virtually stop riding. He ran on again late to finish sixth, beaten only 2¼ lengths, and was upsides the winner not long after the line.
15:40 – King’s Stand Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1 Class 1) (3yo+) 5f
|1st||Oxted||4/1||Roger Teal||Cieren Fallon|
|2nd||Arecibo||28/1||Robert Cowell||Jamie Spencer|
|3rd||Extravagant Kid||18/1||Brendan Walsh||Frankie Dettori|
In the preliminaries this event was all about champion sprinter Battaash. The seven-year-old, originally weak in the market after an injury, was well-backed before the off.
As the gates crashed open Battaash began well. The pace was very fast indeed and that looked to have set things up for the favourite.
Indeed, Battaash was going very easily at the quarter pole and hit the front in style. Despite looking as though he was going to stride on, his run just withered in the last half-furlong but in running fourth he at least showed plenty of his old dash.
As it transpired, Oxted was also being very well backed before they jumped off. The theory was that the six-furlong July Cup winner would love this fast pace and pick them up late. He did. Cieren Fallon was excellent on board as he waited until the final 100 yards to hit the front, ultimately scoring by 1¾ lengths.
16:20 – St. James’s Palace Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1 Class 1) (3yo) 1m
|1st||Poetic Flare||7/2 Fav||J S Bolger||Kevin Manning|
|2nd||Lucky Vega||4/1||Mrs John Harrington||Shane Foley|
|3rd||Battleground||11/1||A P O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
During the week, all the talk regarding the St James’s Palace Stakes was how open it was. Nothing could have been further from the truth in the end.
Many of the horses we knew had talent finished close together. Lucky Vega, Battleground, Maximal, Chindit, Highland Avenue. They all ran well. But this was all about Jim Bolger and his ultra-tough Guineas winner Poetic Flare.
The new Iron Horse was having his fourth Group 1 run in 45 days. He’d won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but got stuck in the mud in the French and Irish versions. What we know now is that he is all about fast racing ground.
The 7/2 favourite travelled well throughout in a fast-run race, remaining on the heels of the leaders. Once Kevin Manning kicked however the pair were gone. Poetic Flare flashed past the post fully 4¼ lengths clear of the rest to set up a mouth-watering all-age clash with Palace Pier later in the summer.
17:00 – Ascot Stakes (Handicap Class 2) (4yo+) 2m4f
|1st||Reshoun||66/1||Ian Williams||William Buick|
|2nd||M C Muldoon||11/2||W P Mullins||Ryan Moore|
|3rd||Elysian Flame||16/1||M & D Easterby||Ben Curtis|
Along with the Gold Cup on Thursday, the Ascot Stakes is the longest race of the week. At two-and-a-half miles this is quite some test. The race has often been dominated by jumps trainers, Willie Mullins having a very strong hand in 2021.
His M C Muldoon was originally favoured before all the money came in for Emmet Mullins’s Cape Gentleman. He was ridden by Rachael Blackmore, famed over the jumps, but she was to be out of luck this time.
The pace was steady throughout, but as we reached the closing stages it looked as though John Gosden’s Golden Rules would come through to take the race. His finish just faded as he landed in fourth, but the winner won a sustained duel.
That duel was between 66/1 outsider Reshoun and M C Muldoon. The runner-up struggled to get a run at a crucial time, and once in the clear flew. It wasn’t to be however as William Buick partnered Reshoun to a very narrow short-head win.
17:35 – Wolferton Stakes (Listed Race Class 1) (4yo+) 1m2f
|1st||Nazeef||10/3||J H M Gosden||Jim Crowley|
|2nd||Agincourt||28/1||D O’Meara||D Tudhope|
|3rd||Queen Power||3/1 JFav||Sir Michael Stoute||S De Sousa|
In another open race, lots of the pro money was coming for Solid Stone and Felix. Patrick Sarsfield was the form horse, escaping a penalty for some strong Group performances, but the “surprise” winner actually had the best past form in the book.
Juan Elcano, Kevin Ryan’s four-year-old son of Frankel, was a terrific fifth in the 2000 Guineas last year. He’s had his issues since then, but fresh from a breathing operation reached a new level here.
Described as the ride of the day by many, jockey Andrea Atzeni was terrific on board. Sitting out back off a strong pace, the Italian rider took his time. He crept into the race and when push came to shove both he and the horse showed their talent.
At the line Juan Elcano was a half-length to the good ahead of Patrick Sarsfield, Solid Stone a further 2½ back. That gives the form a very solid look with the Wolferton Stakes once again making its case to be upgraded to Group status.
18:10 – Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap Class 2) (4yo+) 1m6f
|1st||Amityaz||33/1||John & Thady Gosden||Hollie Doyle|
|2nd||Dubious Affair||33/1||Charlie Fellowes||Jamie Spencer|
|3rd||Global Storm||4/1||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
After a terrific opening day to this point, the Copper Horse Stakes was a great way to finish off. This mile-and-three-quarter event is a great addition to the week.
Given its distance, it’s no surprise that once again those trained by National Hunt trainers were popular in the market. Willie Mullins’s Saldier was all the rage with Ryan Moore on board, but there was strong support for Global Storm, Throne Hall and Arthurian Fable.
Saldier was in trouble a long way from home however as others travelled better. It became obvious with a furlong-and-a-half to go that there was going to be another great tussle to the line.
Hollie Doyle was all out on Amtiyaz and initially went clear, though Dubious Affair battled right to the post. The pair were separated by only a head at the line with Global Storm and Arthurian Fable not far behind. A great way to finish the opening day.
More Royal Ascot News
[mosaic tag=”news” post_type=”post,page” limit=”3″]