Landmark wins, first-time wins, the biggest-priced winner in Royal Ascot history and more – the last day of Royal Ascot provided storylines galore, with the eight-race card providing a fitting finale to a Royal Meeting like no other.
Centre stage amid the drama once again was Frankie Dettori, who rode three winners on the afternoon to take his tally for the week to six. It was enough to clinch a second successive Royal Ascot Leading Jockey Award for Dettori and the seventh of his career. He edged out Jim Crowley, who also finished with six wins, to take the title due to his higher number of second places at the meeting.
Dettori won The Queen Mary Stakes early on the card aboard Campanelle to give US trainer Wesley Ward an 11th Royal Ascot success. The jockey completed a double in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on Alpine Star and in winning that race for the first time it ensured that he has now tasted victory in all of the Group 1 contests staged at the Royal meeting.
Around 40 minutes later came more Group 1 glory and another landmark. Palace Pier extended his unbeaten record to lift The St James’s Palace Stakes after a thrilling battle with Pinatubo and Wichita – sealing a famous treble for Dettori and moving him level with Pat Eddery on 73 career Royal Ascot wins and a share of second place on the all-time list.
But Dettori’s brilliance was only part of the story of an extraordinary final day. In the third race on the card, The Coventry Stakes, the Royal Ascot history books were rewritten by Nando Parrado, who became the biggest-priced winner in the centuries-old history of Royal Ascot, at odds of 150/1.
But Royal Ascot 2020 wasn’t quite finished with the fairytales. As the meeting approached its final hour, there was still time for more. Trainer Kevin Ryan enjoyed one of the biggest moments of his career in The Diamond Jubilee Stakes when Hello Youmzain prevailed by a head in an epic finish to the Group 1 race, which is one of the most prestigious sprints in the world. It was winning rider Kevin Stott’s first Royal Ascot victory – and what an event to do it in.
In the very next race, Ryan and Stott won again, as Hey Jonesy landed The Wokingham Stakes by a nose from Summerghand. And in the final race of the meeting, The Queen Alexandra Stakes, there was another first-time winning jockey when Tom Marquand partnered Who Dares Wins to glory.
In addition to Dettori claiming the Leading Jockey Award, John Gosden was crowned Leading Trainer thanks to his six wins at the meeting, while the Leading Owner Award was won by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after his own six wins.
Royal Ascot Day Five Highlights
Longines Sectional Timing Highlights Day Five
Speed away from the stalls helps Youmzain
Hello Youmzain was quickest away in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, clocking an opening furlong time of 14.35s to help him get an ideal position as the race developed. As a result he travelled 1207.2m which was the shortest distance of the first seven home, helping him to save enough energy to fight back passed Sceptical, whose penultimate furlong move looked to have won him the race. Dream Of Dreams was an agonizing second in the race again as he flew home in a final furlong time of 12.76s, quicker than any other horse in the race.
Palace Pier strongest at the line
Palace Pier registered a smooth success in the St James’s Palace Stakes, travelling widest of all but running out a comfortable enough one-length winner. Most interestingly was his closing furlong time of 11.60s which was his fastest split in the whole race. This was undoubtedly aided by the slow early pace (field was 53.94s to half way compared to 50.51 in the Coronation Stakes) but raises hopes that he might stay further than a mile.
Campanelle the flying filly in the Queen Mary
Campanelle was a fourth Queen Mary Stakes winner for Wesley Ward and she showed superb late pace to quicken clear under Frankie Dettori. Moving from tenth to second around two furlongs out before hitting the front inside the final furlong, her time in the last split of 12.12s was the quickest in the field.
Ascot Racecourse Press Release
Photos courtesy of Ascot Racecourse