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The 2019 Royal Ascot was yet another exciting edition of this historic meeting. Once more, the best horses, jockeys and trainers from the U.K. and all the world descended on this leafy English town to compete in renowned races like the Gold Cup, the Queen Mary Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Over the years, we’ve seen some truly spectacular horse-racing feats in this legendary racecourse. So, in no specific order here are 10 unforgettable moments from the past 10 years of Royal Ascot.
- Big Orange Wins the Gold Cup (2017)
Double Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange was one of the most determined horses competing in the 2017 event. The gutsy mount impressed everyone with his speed over the shorter races, but did he have the endurance to finish the longer Gold Cup course in pole position? It was an exciting race from start to finish. Big Orange held up strong throughout and when as it looked like reigning champion and favourite Order of St George would run him down, the Australian chestnut quite literally stuck his neck out to be first past the post — winning both the Gold Cup and the special Big Race promotion held in partnership with top online gaming platform PokerStars.
2. Black Caviar Wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2012)
Wonder mare Black Caviar entered the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012 undefeated in her 21 previous races, at odds of 1–6. With the weight of expectation on her and jockey Luke Nolen’s shoulders, the race was one of the most exciting to watch in the history of the event.
3. The Americans Have Landed (2009)
The now-renowned American trainer Wesley A. Ward made a triumphant debut at this iconic British meeting 10 years ago in 2009. With a small team of horses and jockeys, none of whom had much knowledge of the Royal Ascot, Ward at first seemed out of his depth. But when Strike the Tiger took the win in the opening afternoon’s Windsor Castle Stakes, followed by Jealous Again making short work of her competitors in the Queen Mary Stakes the following day, Ward proved his worth and became the first American trainer to do so in the history of the meeting.
4. Yeats Wins the Gold Cup for the Fourth Time (2009)
Aiden O’Brien’s superstar Yeats made history in 2009 when he won the Gold Cup for a record-setting fourth time — the first and only horse to do so.
5. Treve Shocks at the Prince of Wales Stakes (2014)
The double Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion Treve, ridden by Frankie Dettori, entered the Royal Ascot in 2014 billed as a dominant force on the flat. Her first race was the Prince of Wales Stakes, and she was the favourite to win, but it would be a race that shocked everyone and one of the biggest racing upsets of the decade. For Treve, this flat race should’ve been a walk in the park, but unfortunately, her “incroyable” form fell apart and she eventually finished a distant third.
6. Hayley Turner Rides for Equality (2019)
It’s been a total of 32 years since a female jockey won at the Royal Ascot and Hayley Turner was the jockey to end that drought here in 2019. Winning the Sandringham Handicap aboard Thanks Be, Turner will go down in history as the second female jockey to win at this event (after Gay Kelleway in 1987).
7. Estimate Wins the Gold Cup for Her Majesty, The Queen (2013)
8. Pure Gold for Frankie Dettori (2019)
Champion jockey Frankie Dettori has been a fixture at the Royal Ascot since 1996 when he rode all seven winners on British Champions Day — his ‘Magnificent Seven’. This year, the Italian struck gold once again, bringing Stradivarius home first past the post in the Gold Cup and winning his fourth-consecutive race of the day. He would then go on to scoop a further three victories, finishing with the Commonwealth Cup.
9. The Year of Speed (2015)
During the 2015 meeting, there were new speed records:
- Time Test won the Tercentenary Stakes in a time of 2:03.05
- Illuminate won the Albany Stakes in a time of 1:13.20
- Oriental Fox won the Queen Alexandra Stakes in 4:45.67
10. Ryan Moore’s Nine Winners (2015)
Another new record was set in 2015, when Ryan Moore rode a total of nine winners at that year’s meeting, including Aloft in the Queen Anne Stakes, Acapulco in the Queen Mary Stakes and Gleneagles in the St James’s Palace Stakes.