Royal Ascot Results 2020 – Day 1

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It’s been a surreal start to the 2020 Royal Ascot Meeting, behind closed doors with no crowds.

So, at a meeting that was also famous for its fashion, the focus in 2020 was 100% on the horses!

2020 Royal Ascot Results – Tuesday 16th June 2020

The BHA added several new races across the five-day meeting, plus changed the normal running order of some of the races – but this meant at least seven races each day, with Saturday producing a monster Royal Ascot eight-race card.

We got going on Royal Ascot Day One – Tuesday 16th June 2020, with a seven-race card that was top-billed with the Group One’s Queen Anne Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes.

1.15 – Buckingham Palace Handicap (3yo+) 7f

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stMotakhayyel14/1R HannonJim Crowley
2ndJack’s Point66/1W R MuirM Dwyer
3rdMutamaasik7/1R VarianDane O’Neill
4thCliffs Of Capri20/1J A OsborneD C Costello

It was all smiles for the Richard Hannon yard as their MOTAKHAYYEL (14/1) powered clear to win the first race – the Buckingham Palace Handicap – of the 2020 Royal Ascot Meeting at betting odds of 14/1. Running in the famous blue and white silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum, this 4 year-old has clearly benefitted from a winter break after flopping on his final start in 2019 and looks a horse in the up now. He held the challenge of 66/1 shot – Jack’s Point – by 1 ¼ lengths at the line, with Al Maktoum’s Mutamaasik filling third to back it a cracking race for the owner. The Jamie Osborne-trained ran on well to take fourth at 20/1 and based on that run looks a horse to follow as the season moves on. Daarik, who was sent off as the 7/2 favourite, could only manage 19th to give the bookmakers the perfect start to the 2020 Royal Ascot Meeting.

1.50 – Queen Anne Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 1m

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stCircus Maximus4/1 FavA P O’BrienR L Moore
2ndTerebellum5/1J H M GosdenFrankie Dettori
3rdMarie’s Diamond40/1M JohnstonJ Fanning

The Royal Ascot fans – even though most of them were watching on television – didn’t have to wait long to see a cracking finish as top jockeys – Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori – went head-to-head in the final furlong on their mounts – Circus Maximus and Terebellum – for the Group One Queen Anne Stakes. It was a race jockey Frankie Dettori had won three times in the last 18 years, but it was one that had so far eluded Ryan Moore. However, that changed here as Moore produced one of his trademark power-packed finishes to drive home CIRCUS MAXIMUS (4/1 fav) to prevail by a head to reward favourite backers at 4/1. It was a win that gave leading Irish trainer – Aidan O’Brien – his fourth success in this race after successes in 2006, 2008 and 2013. We can expect to see both these leading milers in action in the top Group One races as the season moves on.

2.25 – Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) (CLASS 1) (3yo) Winner £77,092 1m4f

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stFrankly Darling11/8 FavJ H M GosdenL Dettori
2ndEnnistymon11/1A P O’BrienJames Doyle
3rdPassion13/2A P O’BrienR L Moore

Next up it was the turn of the 3 year-old fillies as some promising sorts lined-up for the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes. It’s a race that’s been dominated by trainers John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien in recent years – between them they’ve won the last four renewals – and with a strong hand again this year they didn’t disappoint. All the talk pre-race was for the John Gosden-trained FRANKLY DARLING (11/8 fav), who was already figuring high up the betting for the Epsom Oaks after an impressive win at Newcastle a few weeks ago. With Mr Ascot – Frankie Dettori – riding then she was sure to be popular in the betting and was sent off the 11/8 favourite. After travelling strongly through the race in the box seat as soon as they got into the straight Frankie pressed the button and the filly quickly put daylight between herself and her rivals. She powered clear to eventually beat the Aidan O’Brien pair – Ennistymon and Passion – who filled second and third. This success gave trainer John Gosden his fourth win in the race and his third in the last four years. After the race, Frankly Darling, was cut sharply in the antepost betting for the Epsom Oaks, which is due to be run on Saturday 4th July, to around 3/1.

3.00 – King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) (CLASS 1) (3yo) 1m4f

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stPyledriver18/1W R MuirM Dwyer
2ndArthur’s Kingdom9/2A P O’BrienL Dettori
3rdMohican Heights4/1D M SimcockAndrea Atzeni

Just the six runners headed to post for the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes and with two of those trained by Aidan O’Brien then the leading Irish trainer was a short price to grab his third success in the race. His Mogul, who was expected to improve for the step up in trip, was sent off the 10/11 favourite, with Ryan Moore picking him over the other O’Brien runner – Arthur’s Kingdom – who Frankie Dettori picked up the ride on. With the last two Royal Ascot favourites winning, then the bookmakers were running for cover a bit here, but they got the result they wanted as the hot favourite – Mogul – failed to see out the longer trip and could only manage fourth, and it was left to the William Muir-trained PYLEDRIVER (18/1) to take this Group Two race. This 3 year-old cut out much of the running from the front and clearly benefitted from the step up in trip to win going away by 2 lengths at the line. He looks an exciting prospect for connections and being a colt, they are sure to attract attention from the leading owners in the world. O’Brien’s Arthur’s Kingdom ran on well to take second, with Mohican Heights taking third. Both are horses to keep on the right side of still, while you suspect Mogul may well be dropped back in trip in the future to try and regain some confidence.

3.35 – King´s Stand Stakes (Group 1) (CLASS 1) (3yo+) 5f

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stBattaash5/6 FavC HillsJim Crowley
2ndEquilateral9/1C HillsJames Doyle
3rdLiberty Beach4/1J J QuinnJason Hart

We had one of the feature Group One contests next as it was the turn of the sprinters to shine for the King’s Stand Stakes. All the attention was on the speedball – BATTAASH (5/6 fav) – as he looked to make it third time lucky in this race after finishing runner-up in the last two seasons. It did, however, look a slightly weaker affair that previous years and his conqueror in 2018 and 2019– Blue Point – was now retired. Sent off as the favourite in the betting, this Charles Hills-trained 6 year-old didn’t give his backers a moments doubt after jumping from the gates and leading from pillar-to-post. He eventually took the prize by 2 ¼ lengths to land this third career Group One and in the process took this total prize haul to just over £1.5 million. The Charles Hills camp actually had a 1-2 in the race as their Equilateral finished strongly to take the silver medal, with the well-backed Liberty Beach running another solid race to take third. We can expect the first three home to be locking horns in the top sprint races a few more times as the season progresses. This win gave jockey – Jim Crowley – his second 2020 Royal Ascot winner.

4.10 – The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Windsor Forest) (Group 2) 1m

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stNazeef10/3J H M GosdenJim Crowley
2ndAgincourt28/1D O’MearaD Tudhope
3rdQueen Power3/1 JFavSir Michael StouteS De Sousa

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has a top recent record in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes and with Jubiloso and Queen Power both in the race he had a strong hand to add to his four previous winners in the race. Both were well supported in the Royal Ascot betting pre-race, but it was the Silvestre De Sousa-ridden Queen Power that was sent off as the favourite for this race at 3/1. However, Jubiloso ran no sort of race and doesn’t seem to be in love with it’s racing at the moment and although Queen Power had every chance in the final furlong it was the John Gosden-trained NAZEEF (1st 10/3) that came out on top after a sustained battle with the 28/1 shot Agincourt. There was only a head between the first two at the line, but it was jockey Jim Crowley, who was already having a cracking day in the saddle, that came out on top to win his third race on the opening day of the 2020 Royal Ascot card and also provide his main employer – Hamdan Al Maktoum – with his third success on the day.

4.40 – Ascot Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+ 0-95) 2m4f

ResultRunnerStarting PriceTrainerJockey
1stCoeur de Lion16/1A KingThore Hammer Hansen
2ndVerdana Blue4/1 FavN J HendersonR L Moore
3rdSummer Moon11/2M JohnstonJ Fanning

The 2020 Royal Ascot day one card ended with the Ascot Stakes and being run over a trip of 2m4f it’s one of the longest flat races on the calendar. With the extreme distance, it’s a race that often attracts trainers that are often better known for their jumpers and that was the case again in 2020. The Nicky Henderson yard won this race in 2011 and with their useful hurdler – Verdana Blue – targeted at the race then is wasn’t a surprised to see this 8 year0old high up in the betting – especially with Ryan Moore booked to ride. He was sent off as the 4/1 favourite. The horse certainly gave his supporters a good run for their money as he came with a strong late run to finish second, but it was another jumping yard – Alan King – that spoilt the party for favourite backers as his COEUR DE LION (16/1) came with a late charge to just get on top near the line. The long-time leader Summer Moon ran a gallant race to hold on for third for the Mark Johnston team and based on that run looks one to follow in these staying flat handicaps as the season moves on.

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