Frankie Dettori winning, HRH presence, 12,000 in attendance: Royal Ascot was back in style

Royal Ascot had a bit of everything including a crowd on Tuesday but other than a very good lunch there can be no better way to the start the meeting, surely, than a Frankie Dettori ridden winner. Now that Dettori is 50 – his first Royal Ascot winner was in the same race in 1990 – and doing his best to stretch his career out into its setting sun, it will not always be thus but with horses like Palace Pier, the best older miler in Europe, to ride he is a long way off being done yet. Their margin of victory, a length and a half over Lope Y Fernandez, in the Queen Anne Stakes may not have screamed out a 2-7 shot but it was as smooth as silk.

With no pace, Dettori sat relatively handy, was in front at the furlong marker and only had to give him a couple of flicks and ride him out. Last year behind closed doors Dettori, who thrives on the big stage, said he needed an espresso to get him going before racing.

Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Palace Pier to win The Queen Anne StakesCredit:Getty

“I needed Valium this morning I was so excited,” he explained afterwards. “You cannot imagine to see the colours, the people screaming. It is a mirage – I’m so pleased to have the crowd back.

It’s great. What can you say? Royal Ascot with people is amazing and this meeting is a big part of my life.

“He was a pressure horse in a pressure race and I wanted everything to go right. I can breathe a bit now. You can rely on him.

It’s 31 years ago since my first Ascot winner on Markofdistinction, there’s been so much water under the bridge but I am still getting the same kick.” It was Dettori’s 74th Royal winner but officially the first for John and his son Thady Gosden as a partnership. “I’d been second in it three times – it took Thady to get me over the line,” joked the senior partner afterwards. “Odds-on makes you a bit nervous – the only thing round the corner is a banana skin but he probably does more in his work at home.”

Jim Bolger likes a good argument but the only way to settle the title ‘best miler in Europe’ after Poetic Flare, his 2,000 Guineas winner, powered home by four and a half lengths from Lucky Vega in the St James’s Palace to establish himself as the best three-year-old at the distance is a match-up between him and Palace Pier at some stage. Poetic Flare is not only very good but he is remarkably tough – this was his fourth Group One in 45 days. “He’s improving and obviously the ground is very important for him,” said the trainer from home. “I would have accepted any margin but was genuinely expecting a performance like that.

He’s extremely hardy and can take it all.” A while back Bolger suggested he might skip Ascot to give Poetic Flare, which he owns and bred, a break. “I needed the break to think about it – he didn’t,” he said. “I haven’t had a horse that can take everything he’s taken.”

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend the first day Credit:AFP

In contrast to the Queen Anne there was so much pace in the King’s Stand Stakes – they went off like bullets fired from a rifle – that those in the front rank, including last year’s star sprinter Battaash, fell in a heap a furlong out.

That set the race up for the 4-1 shot Oxted who not only provided Cieren Fallon with his first Group One winner last year in the July Cup but, now, his first Royal winner. Only 29 more before he equals his father Kieren Fallon now. The five-year-old galloped home by a length and three quarters from Arecibo, who also came from the back.

It was smart placing from Oxted’s trainer Roger Teal who was so confident the stiff five furlongs and a strong pace would suit that he did not even enter him for the Diamond Jubilee over six on Saturday. “Obviously Royal Ascot, a Group One – it doesn’t come much bigger,” said Fallon grinning from ear to ear. “What a feeling. Normally I ride him quite prominently but today I took my time and it paid off.”

Negotiating four and a quarter miles round Aintree was doddle compared to two and a half miles on the level round Ascot for Rachael Blackmore on the 5-2 favourite Cape Gentleman in the Ascot Stakes. She met every traffic light on red to finish a frustrated fifth behind the 66-1 winner Reshoun.

Hollie Doyle celebrates winning the Copper Horse Stakes aboard Amtiyaz Credit:PA

Instead it was left to Hollie Doyle to fly the flag for the women. She rode a superb race on 33-1 Amityaz to finish the day as it had begun for the Gosdens by winning the Copper Horse Stakes.

“After a winner last year the pressure was on – I want one every year,” said Doyle who hung on by a head. 


Wrap up

Here’s the headlines from day one at Ascot: glorious weather, 12,000 people were in, including Prince Charles and Prince Edward, Camilla, Zara and Mike Tindall and, er, Bill Bailey. 2.30pm Palace Pier wins the Queen Anne solidly at 2-7 for Frankie Dettori

3.05pm The two-year-olds’ Coventry Stakes goes to Berkshire Shadow at 11-1

3.40pm The favourite Battaash is sunk in the 5F sprint King’s Stand by Oxted at 4-1

4.20pm A classy win over a mile in the group one St James’s Palace for Poetic Flare the 7-2 fav

5pm Toppers off to you if you picked Reshoun at 66-1 in the two and a half mile Ascot Stakes

5.35pm  Juan Elcano took the Wolferton Stakes for Andrea Atzeni with a smashing ride.

6.10pm But the best finish of the day came in the last, with Hollie Doyle triumphing on 33-1 Amtiyaz  But perhaps the best thing of all was live, top class sport in front of a decent-sized crowd.

Onwards and upwards! Thanks for following, we’ll see you tomorrow.


Hollie Doyle wins the last race of the day

Royal Ascot 6.10

1 Amtiyaz (Hollie Doyle) 33-1

2 Dubious Affair (J P Spencer) 33-1

3 Global Storm (W Buick) 4-1

15 ran Also: 15-8 Fav Saldier, 8-1 Arthurian Fable 4th Non Runner: 1


Good race! And it looks like Hollie Doyle has got it!

A tight race, Hollie Doyle has piloted Amtiyaz to  a fantastic win.

Best finish of the day as it turns out. Gosden makes it two on the day.



Saldier is the clear favourite, 2-1 and then Global Storm at 401. Saldier ran seventh in the Champion Hurdle.


Lucky seven?

Marcus Armytage wrote in the paper this morning: ” Seven races a day – introduced last year to ease the backlog of demand to run horses after lockdown – are here to stay and we will soon find out whether that waters down Ascot’s fine wine.”

For me, I think seven is one too many. I don’t mind one novelty-ish one like the 2m 4f with the Grand National winning jock, and one decent handicap after the real McCoy of the top class flat racing, but three races after the St James’s Palace seems a bit much to me.


Our last race of the day

is the 6.10 – the Copper Horse Stakes. Competitive race, and one where the early stages could prove important, given the relatively short run into the first turn for the 16 runners.

Asides from a potentially awkward draw in stall one, ARTHURIAN FABLE has plenty going for him here: he remains on a competitive mark, has proven most consistent at this trip and should greatly appreciate the return to better going. His recent Newmarket conqueror Global Storm is another consistent sort who can go very well here once again; he remains unexposed at this trip. Finally, Sextant is not to be dismissed at a big price and rates an interesting contender with the visor off and in a big-field scenario.


Two Princes

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex during Royal Ascot Credit:Chris Jackson/Getty Images5:44PM

Good day for bookies

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “We definitely can’t complain on day one of Royal Ascot, as things went our way.

Dettori multiples being knocked over was a massive relief, while defeats for Battaash and Rachael Blackmore’s mount had a big impact on the day.”


Result of the Royal Ascot 5.35 Wolferton Stakes

1 Juan Elcano (Andrea Atzeni) 14-1

2 Patrick Sarsfield (Tom Marquand) 4-1 Jt Fav

3 Solid Stone (R L Moore) 4-1 Jt Fav

13 ran Non Runner: 5


Kevin Ryan the winning trainer

Andrea Atzeni the winning rider. “Best ride of the day,” says Johnny Murtagh on ITV. Andrea: “He showed a lot of promise early in his career, ran well in the Guineas but he went down hill. Wind operation looks to have done the trick.”

Nice little win at 14-1 – Patrick Sarsfield was just a little bit too keen early in the race.


They’re off in the 5.35pm

A mile and a bit. Patrick S is going quite nicely. It looks like Patrick Sarsfield has got this won as he hits the front a furlong out but there’s a nicely timed run from Juan Elcano to pip him on the line, he wins by a neck.


Next up, the Wolferton Stakes

Ed Chamberlin says: “The best bet of the day is in the Wolferton (5.35): Patrick Sarsfield.”

And Marlborough agrees: PATRICK SARSFIELD (NB)  has proven himself to be a model of consistency over 10 furlongs through his career and has mixed it with some high-class opposition to boot. Without a penalty for his Group 3 win last July and, having warmed up with an excellent run in defeat at the Curragh earlier this month, he can take plenty of beating from a good draw in stall three.

A recent wind operation can see a much-improved effort here from Juan Elcano, who is entitled to be right in the mix on the back of his early season form as a three year old; he can reward each-way support.


With two races left, here are the winners so far

2.30pm Palace Pier wins the Queen Anne solidly at 2-7 for Frankie Dettori

3.05pm The two-year-olds’ Coventry Stakes goes to Berkshire Shadow at 11-1

3.40pm The favourite Battaash is sunk in the 5F sprint King’s Stand by Oxted at 4-1

4.20pm A classy win over a mile in the group one St James’s Palace for Poetic Flare the 7-2 fav

5pm Toppers off to you if you picked Reshoun at 66-1 in the two and a half mile Ascot Stakes


Result of the Ascot Stakes 5pm

1 Reshoun (W Buick) 66-1

2 M C Muldoon (R L Moore) 11-2

3 Elysian Flame (B A Curtis) 16-1

4 Golden Rules (L Dettori) 12-1

19 ran Also: 5-2 Fav Cape Gentleman


Masks (continued)


Masks all round

HRH the Prince of WalesCredit:PAUL GROVER FOR THE TELEGRAPH 5:10PM


Zara Tindall, Dolly Maude and Anna Lisa BaldingCredit:PA Wire5:06PM


Reshoun holds on, M C Muldoon fought him all the way. It was a great race actually – two miles and a half and there’s hardly an inch between them at the end.


In running 5pm

Cape Gentleman is a long way back at the climb up towards the final five furlongs, Rochester House the leader.


They’re nearly off in the Ascot Stakes

And they’re off. Mullins has a great record in this one.


Gordon Elliot

I mean Denise Foster, also has a runner in this.

Luke Harvey asks the jockey Jaime Spencer: “in with a chance?”  he replies: “Well Gordon told me to go and enjoy myself, so…” Yeah, at 66-1, you  have to say that it would be a surprise.


Absolute plunge

for Cape Gentleman. In to 9-4. Hollie Doyle also has a runner in this one.


David Easterby

“The ground is perfect.

It is like a carpet. For me, I’d have liked it a bit softer for Elysian Flame.”


Next up is the Ascot Stakes

there is some National Hunt involvement. The legend that is Rachael Blackmore rides.

This is run over 2 miles and 4 furlongs, Rachael is aboard Cape Gentleman. “She’s clearly had an impact on his price,” says Ed Chamberlin. Here’s another of our experts, Marlborough

Warm renewal of this race, with many unexposed contenders coming forward. Cape Gentleman hails from a shrewd stable and has a most eye-catching jockey booking in the shape of this year’s Champion Hurdle & Grand National-winning rider Rachael Blackmore.

He was a comfortable winner of last year’s Irish Cesarewitch on his latest start on the flat and must go close despite a 15lb hike in the weights. Willie Mullins once again holds a strong hand, but it remains to be seen how M C Muldoon & Rayapour will fare on the likely fast ground. However, his third runner ROYAL ILLUSION should have little trouble on the going and can go take a bit of beating this afternoon under Tom Marquand.


Kevin Manning

was the winning jockey, his wife Una is the daughter of trainer Jim Bolger.

She says they might well go for the Sussex Stakes.

Bolger bred, trains & owns. Trained the dam, bred & trained the sire & the grandsire. ?

— Richard ? (@Richx183) June 15, 2021

Poetic Flare was a breathtaking winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes for Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger. Taking up the lead with two furlongs left to travel having moved sweetly throughout, the Qipco 2000 Guineas winner was unchallenged from then on, pulling away to register a wide-margin success as the 7-2 favourite.

Lucky Vega was second, with chance Battleground third to complete a clean sweep for Irish-trained runners. Kevin Manning said: “I think ground is a big key to him. “This good, quick ground is really where he shows his best.

“He wants that good quick ground, and that’s what he got today – and showed how good he is.” “He’s a marvellous trainer, fantastic,” the jockey then said of Bolger. “To get this horse here after the runs he’s had is unbelievable.

“I owe Jim everything, and I’d also like to say ‘well done’ to all the lads in the yard who have kept this lad on the go.”


Could set up a great

match at Goodwood between Poetic Flare and Palace Pier, couldn’t it? Winning trainer Jim Bolger: “I’m very relaxed about it, I have tremendous confidence in this horse and I was expecting him to go and do that,” Bolger told Sky Sports Racing.

“Thanks to all my staff and everybody who has helped. “We always knew he was hardy from the word go, even when he was being broken in you couldn’t keep him quiet. “We’ve bred from the family since the very early 1980s, so a long time.

“When you have a horse winning the St James’s Palace like that you don’t really think about all the relatives and the breeding, you wouldn’t care if he came to you off the back of a truck as long as you had him. “This horse is so hardy he’s unbelievable, you have to give it to him to keep his back down.”


Result of the St James’s Palace

Royal Ascot 4.20

1 Poetic Flare (K J Manning) 7-2 Fav

2 Lucky Vega (S Foley) 4-1

3 Battleground (R L Moore) 11-1 13 ran Also: 12-1 Maximal 4th CSF: GBP16.49 Tricast: GBP147.32

Poetic Flare produced a performance of supreme brilliance to leave his rivals toiling in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Jim Bolger’s charge had won the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the season, run respectably in the French equivalent on soft ground and then been touched off by stablemate Mac Swiney in the Irish version. As he had already won a Guineas trial before Newmarket he was having his fifth run of the season – and had obviously thrived for it.

Kevin Manning had the son of Dawn Approach in the box seat throughout and in truth the result never looked in any doubt as soon as he moved his partner into a challenging position. The veteran rider waited until a furlong and a half out before pushing the button and the response was immediate. The 7-2 favourite shot clear and crossed the line four and a quarter lengths clear of Lucky Vega.

Battleground ran on for third, with Maximal fourth. Quotes for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood were quick to arrive and Betfair went 7-2 from 10-1.


Poetic Flare in the St James’s Palace

What a tough horse! He has won this.

He has won the Irish Guineas, he’s won the 2,000 Guineas.


In running in the St James’s Palace

Ontario taking them along at a hot pace, Lucky Vega and Battleground also up there. The Godolphin pair at the back. Poetic Flair is going well.

Poetic Flair has pulled clear and he has won.


They’re off in the 4.20

Wembley is the quickest away… Ontario too.


Betting offer

Team Gosden to land a third St James’s Palace in four years? Grab some free bets to back their unbeaten Mostahdaf


Betting for the St James’s Palace

Battleground is friendless in the market, little bit of money for Thunder Moon. 

4.20pm – St James’s Palace Stakes Battleground: Beat one rival home when the gamble of the race in the 2000 Guineas. The quality of his formlines still leave plenty to be desired in this context; others make much more appeal.

Bullace: Taken his form up a level in two starts this season, most recently when a good Listed 3rd. Likely comes here as he is 1lb too high for the Britannia Handicap; looks too tough a task. Chindit: Could be argued that the action in the 2000 Guineas happened away from him and he ran very well in the circumstances.

Looks ready to run a career-best; solid place claims at least. Highland Avenue: One of three coming forward from the Heron Stakes and was arguably the best of them last time given track positions and weight differentials. This test may prove too sharp, however; place chance at best.

La Barrosa: High-class colt with a turn of foot who can be excused two below-par efforts on soft ground. Tuesday’s conditions can suit well and he looks set to run a career-best; lively place chance. Lucky Vega: Thoroughly consistent colt who ran well in in the Irish 2000 Guineas despite unfavourable ground conditions.

This much more suitable; the one to beat. Maximal: Largely consistent colt having his first start at Group 1 level. Can give a good account of himself without necessarily getting involved in the finish.

Mostahdaf: Winner of all three of his starts, most recently getting up late to win the Heron Stakes at Sandown. This is much tougher and a draw in stall one could be tricky if held up; each-way chance. Naamoos: Wide-margin winner of the Esher Cup back in April.

Not seen since and taking a major step up in class. Likely pace angle but could struggle to lead all the way here; best watched. Ontario: Winner of one of his nine starts, reported to have stopped quickly last time out.

Likely to give stablemates Battleground & Wembley a good tow into the race but will struggle to feature himself. Poetic Flare: Tough, high-class and likeable colt who won the 2000 Guineas and finished a narrow second in the Irish version. Should relish the return to firmer ground; must go close.

Thunder Moon: High-class juvenile who bombed out on his first try at a mile in the 2000 Guineas. Needs to prove he has trained on and is up to this level as a three year old; perhaps best watched. Wembley: Thoroughly consistent two year old who has shown very little in two starts this season.

Tongue-tie applied for the first time; can bounce back but has plenty to prove here. Verdict: A wide open renewal of the St. James’s Palace Stakes that speaks volumes of quality of the Classic generation in which many of these in the line-up have been taking turns to beat each other at the highest level.

This afternoon, it looks the turn once again of LUCKY VEGA (NAP), who was sent off market leader for the Irish 2000 Guineas and ran very well on ground that was surely too soft for him. Back on better going, he can give another good account of himself and go very close. The 2000 Guineas looks the formline to follow here, bringing in Chindit & Poetic Flare as strong contenders for minor honours.


Ed Chamberlin

wrote in our paper today that this race is “a minefield”.


Here are our tips for day two

If you’re looking to get an early march on getting your card marked.

Royal Ascot 2021 tips and best bets for day two


The Ascot Stakes comes up later

Jumps or dual purpose trainers have won the last 11 editions Ascot Stakes. Back your favourite National Hunt raider with these betting offers


Royal Ascot 3.40

1 Oxted (Cieren Fallon) 4-1

2 Arecibo (J P Spencer) 28-1

3 Extravagant Kid (L Dettori) 18-1

16 ran Also: 11-8 Fav Battaash 4th

Cieren Fallon celebrates on board Oxted after winning the King’s Stand StakesCredit:Getty Images Europe 3:47PM

King’s Stand Stakes winner: Oxted

the winning jockey is Cieren Fallon, the son of Kieren Fallon.


King’s Lynn

seventh for The Queen.


They’re off in the 340

Battaash away nicely. Winter Power prominent.

Coming to the last furling, Battaash takes it up but Winter Power fights back, and Oxted is coming late and wide on the outside. Battaash wilts late on – and Oxted is the winner.


Battaash hasn’t had a run

yet this season. But looks very fit.  Acklam Express looking warm.

Lots of money for Oxted.


Keep and eye out for King’s Lynn

in the next one, that is The Queen’s horse.


The record for this race 

is 57.44 seconds. Serious pace. And Charlie Hills says: “the ground is firm, it’s lively out there today.” Wonder if that record could go…


The next race is the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 5f

Battaash is 11-8, there’s plenty of money coming in for him.

Oxted and Winter Power are 6-1. Here’s Ed Chamberlin… “Battaash has been the fastest in the world and box office for us on ITV, but he’s opposable this year after a difficult preparation and up against some brilliant Northern ladies headed by Winter Power.”


The Duchess of Cornwall on The Queen

interviewed by Oli Bell on ITV

“The Queen is the biggest expert of all time. There is nothing she doesn’t know about it. You wouldn’t want to think you knew better.”

What a revealing way of expressing that sentiment. Anyhow. The Duchess continues: “This is her passion in life.

She loves it. She can tell you every horse she has ever bred or owned, she never forgets anything. She is encyclopedic in her knowledge.”

“I think a lot of people have had their spirits lifted by television, sport on television. Encouraging to see that something is coming back. So go out and enjoy yourself, sport is a celebration of getting back to normal.”

Four more of these interviews throughout the week, if that’s your thing. Team Gosden to land a third St James’s Palace in four years? Grab some free bets to back their unbeaten Mostahdaf


Next up, it is the King’s Stand

3.40pm – King’s Stand Stakes

A race that revolves around the wellbeing, fitness and freshness of four-time Group 1 winner Battaash, whose issues in the build-up to this race have been well-documented. Even if he is a touch below his best, Battaash will surely still take plenty of beating but, in a field brimming with pace angles, there is a fear he may do too much in the early stages of this race and leave himself vulnerable late on. If a strong gallop does materialise, hold-up performer KEEP BUSY makes plenty of appeal to be finishing strongly late on under Ryan Moore, with the return to better ground sure to suit.


Stand side rail

the place to be on the evidence so far…


51 years on from Mill Reef winning

this race for Ian Balding, Berkshire Shadow has won this for Andrew.

Berkshire Shadow surged to victory for Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding in the Group Two Coventry Stakes. Starting at 11-1, the Dark Angel colt was all but last when passing the two-furlong pole – but threw down a late challenge to cut through on the inside rail. Eldrickjones was second at 66-1, beaten a length and a quarter, and Vintage Clarets third at 25-1.


Royal Ascot 3.05 result

1 Berkshire Shadow (Oisin Murphy) 11-1

2 Eldrickjones (D Tudhope) 66-1

3 Vintage Clarets (P Hanagan) 25-1

17 ran Also: 4-1 Fav Dhabab, 15-2 Masseto 4th


Berkshire Shadow

wins the Coventry, coming quite late on the inside…


Off and running in the second race

It’s a bit of a cavalry charged… The Organiser is up there… Kaufymaker and Berkshire Shadow looking strong…


Next up, the youngsters

It’s the hot, tough two year old race

3.05pm – Coventry Stakes Whilst Wesley Ward has long proven an irresistible force in the five-furlong juvenile races at Royal Ascot, he has historically struggled beyond the minimum distance with his two year olds and, compounded with the fact that a filly hasn’t won the Coventry in over 100 years, history strongly suggests that Kaufymaker will do very well to win here. Gisburn was a most impressive winner of a Newbury maiden that has long had a bearing on the Coventry Stakes and, with normal improvement expected, he can be bang there.

However, DHABAB looks the one to beat following an excellent win at Leicester in a slick time; he can continue a strong start to the meeting for John & Thady Gosden.


Fans in

Horses – AND SPECTATORS!!!! – in the parade ring at Royal AscotCredit:Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers 2:52PM

Here’s Frankie dismounting

Frankie Dettori celebrates on board Palace Pier after winning the Queen Anne Stakes on Day OneCredit:Getty

Palace Pier’s only defeat remains on Champions Day last year at Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II – when he lost a shoe in heavy ground. Dettori said: “There wasn’t much pace in the race and I had him much further forward than usual. “I stalked the pace, I had the leaders beat with a furlong and a half to go and then he went a couple of lengths clear and he took it easy with me.

“It was his first time on real good to firm ground, so he wasn’t so sure on it – but still, he proved again he’s the best miler around. He was in front on his own for a while, so he was taking things easy. “He did (stumble just after the line).

He’s quite clumsy with his feet – he’s forever losing his shoes and things like that, but when he goes fast he’s all right. “It’s a pressure ride, the first one (of the meeting) – you want everything to go right, and it did.” He added: “This was my first Royal Ascot winner in 1990, this race (Markofdistinction), and it’s great to get a win for John and Thady.

“He was a fresh horse, he is one of the best horses in the world so you want everything to go right and we can breathe a little bit now! “At the moment there’s no need to change his trip. You can rely on him, he’s like picking one of the best players in the team to take a penalty first in a shootout.

“It’s great people are back here, it’s like a mirage – there’s nothing better than Ascot with people.” Gosden senior said: “We suspected a slow pace and we got that slow pace, so the key thing then is don’t sit out the back. He did it smoothly, came through and won his race, but he’s exactly like his father (Kingman) – as soon as he gets there he thinks he’s done enough.

“If I worked him at home with an ordinary horse he’d just stay with him, that’s his game. “When you are odds-on like that there’d be something wrong if you weren’t nervous, but it can be a banana skin. Frankie was aware there was no pace so he asserted early, then I noticed he was just hands and heels to keep him going.

“He’s probably done more in a piece of work at home than today. “I’ve been second in this race three times, but that’s my first win – it obviously took Thady to get me over the line!” Looking to the future, the Clarehaven handler said: “You could go up in trip with him, as you can see how relaxed he is.

He is in the Juddmonte, but he’s also in the Sussex and the Prix Jacques le Marois, so I’ll talk to the owner and see. “All the races are options, he’d have no trouble with the trip if they decide to go there.”


Frankie Dettori

has dropped the trophy! Oh dear.

Well, I think we can all forgive him the occasional blunder after a cracking ride to win the first on the favourite.


Dietmar Hamann

the Germany and Liverpool midfielder, and massive racing fan, talking about racing and he had some horses with Michael Owen.  Brown Panther was Owen’s best: won the Irish Ledger, but then very sadly suffered a fatal injury in that race trying to double up.



The Duchess of Cornwall watches the action from the Royal Box on day one Credit:PA2:39PM

Ah that’s a good sound

Trumpets, clapping and some cheers for Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier as they come into the winning enclosure.


Result of first race, The Queen Anne

Royal Ascot 2.30 1 Palace Pier (L Dettori) 2-7 Fav

2 Lope Y Fernandez (J A Heffernan) 12-1

3 Sir Busker (Oisin Murphy) 22-1

11 ran


Frankie Dettori

had his first Royal Ascot winner in 1990. Amazing.

What an astonishing career. “Wow what can I say? It was the first time he has run on this kind of ground.

He didn’t let himself down. On easier ground he has a bit more to give. He’s quite clumsy with his feet when he slows down but he’s good when he goes fast.

It was a pressure ride, you want everything to go well and it did.”


First race: Palace Pier wins

“More workmanlike than brutally destructive,” says Richard Hoiles. John Gosden: “He’s like his father Kingman, when he hits the front he just pulls up, I have done enough. He is quite laid back in his work, he is not a flashy worker but he does it on the track.

He is a lovely horse, can go on any ground, a lovely scope about it.”


First race, in running

Palace Pier is third and Order of Australia fourth at the halfway point.  Prince Ejii and Pogo, Top Rank are all involved. And now with a furlong or so out, Frankie sends Palace Pier to the front, he’s pulling away – and this is a classy, ultimately comfortable win.


They are off in the first

Palace Pier slightly slow away…


Palace Pier red hot

is it a one horse race?  If you fancy a bet, here is an offer for the first race


Fans surveying the scene

Spectators Return To Royal Ascot – Day One Credit:Getty2:24PM

Palace Pier

looking a bit warm in the parade ring.

Sweating up. It’s a muggy warm day, sure, but you never love to see that if you’re on 4-11 fave….


Frankie Dettori

“I am feeling great. Having crowds!

Is it a mirage? And a pressure ride for me in the first, Palace Pier, one of the best horses in the world. I am drawn 11 of 11 and so I am not too worried if he gets a slow start. I am concerned there isn’t much pace in the race so I have to use my judgement.”


A lot less crowded than normal

Credit:Action Images via Reuters 2:15PM

Ed Chamberlin with his thoughts for day one

“The barrage of Group Ones on the opening day takes some beating.

Palace Pier is the headline act and impossible to oppose in the Queen Anne (2.30). He’s the best horse in Europe. Battaash has been the fastest in the world and box office for us on ITV, but he’s opposable this year after a difficult preparation and up against some brilliant Northern ladies headed by Winter Power (3.35).

The St James’s Palace (4.20) looks a minefield, while the best bet of the day runs in the Wolferton (5.35): Patrick Sarsfield.”


Raymond Blanc

Talking of legends… “Really exciting. As a Frenchman, I am huge fan of British pageantry, the celebration and the joie de vivre.

I am feeling top of the world. We have 90 guests, normally we have 150.  “Yes, I had Covid – I don’t think there is much comparison with my food and the hospital food.

Fortunately I did not lose my palette or sense of smell – but sometimes in the hospital I wished I did!


Brough Scott

Once of this parish, all-round legend, says: “This is our biggest challenge since Cheltenham. Racing got unfairly blamed after that.

We need to make sure that people leave this with a sense of inspiration not indignation. Ascot are working really hard to make sure this goes well.”


Nick Smith

Ascot’s director of operations says: “We are getting there. It’s a hybrid.

It is important for sport to show the government that we can have sport safely”.


Hayley Turner

has a very winnable ride tomorrow in the Duke of Cambridge. Here is a nice preview of her with Jim White. Hayley Turner: ‘Nothing beats the buzz of making your way through a crowd after winning’


And talking of things Royal

punters will be hoping that Palace Pier does the business in the first.

Frankie Dettori is aboard and they are going to go off a red hot favourite.


Royal Presence

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive into the parade ringCredit:Getty

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive into the parade ring


All the Ascot gossip

All 35 Royal @Ascot races live & free to air on @itvracing.
From Swinley Bottom to Lady Swinley….

— Ed Chamberlin (@chamberlinsport) June 12, 2021

Masks are the order of the day


ITV Racing

Matt Chapman: “I’m in heaven. There are  actual people here. You sir!

Are you an actual person?” Man confirms that he is.


Racegoers arriving

Race-goers arrive for Royal Ascot: they must show a negative Covid test result to gain entranceCredit:Chris Jackson/Getty Images1:35PM

They don’t call it Royal Ascot

for no reason. Here’s a history of the Royal Family and their fashion at the race meeting.

How the royals have nailed dressing for Royal Ascot over the years, in pictures


Weather: it’s lovely at Royal Ascot

23, 24 degrees today, gentle breeze.


And here is our guide to that first race

2.30pm – Queen Anne A potentially slow pace looks on the cards in the traditional Royal Ascot curtain raiser, which could make life tricky for 2019 & 2018 winners (and confirmed hold-up performers) Lord Glitters and Accidental Agent respectively. A wide draw and the prospect of a slow tempo does not bode obviously well for PALACE PIER but equally he looks nigh on bombproof, having won seven of his eight career starts to date, most of which came in extremely impressive fashion, including his two victories so far this season.

Regal Reality can go forward and, with conditions sure to suit, makes the most each-way appeal.


The first race of the day is Queen Anne 

Paddy Power have a betting offer for the opener. Find out how to take advantage


Some… I am guessing Scottish racegoers?

Royal Ascot patronsCredit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph

Looks warm in those suits with the wool lid.


The Tootsie Rollers

A capella singing group the Tootsie RollersCredit:Paul Grover/Telegraph12:54PM

Fancy a bet?

Here are some betting offers

The bookies are serving up some new customer offers on day one. Check out all the best here


Ed Chamberlin writes…

After sporting famine comes a feast: Royal Ascot and Euro 2020. Our week’s crescendo will be Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius going for a fourth Gold Cup on Thursday, and it will be a treat to be at Ascot amongst a crowd of 12,000.

This time last year the place was desolate: the meeting was our first outside broadcast in the initial lockdown and a monster challenge for a skeleton production team with no racegoers, members of the Royal Family or atmosphere to feed off. This week promises to be different and almost ‘normal’. Our job on ITV will be to entertain and bring the return of Ascot fun, fashion and buzz to your living room.

All 35 races are live on ITV this week, culminating each evening with the return of the singalong at the bandstand. A broadcasting marathon. Have a few quid on “Oh When The Saints” being the first song tonight.

Here is Ed suitably topper-ed from a couple of years ago.

Ed Chamberlin at Royal Ascot12:24PM

Ed Chamberlin

the ITV Racing presenter, Telegraph Sport columnist and, most importantly for many, RELIABLE TIPPER OF WINNERS IN THESE PAGES! has written for the paper today.

I’ll bring you Ed’s tips for each of the races as we go.


Good afternoon and welcome to our live blog of Royal Ascot

it is day one of the famous summer festival of top-class flat-racing, fashion and fun, and we will bring you all the action over the next few days. As ever, there is considerable excitement about a possible Royal sighting, but there is not going to be a Royal Procession on this occasion. The first race is at 2.30pm, that’s the Queen Anne Stakes, a group one.  The Tuesday of Royal Ascot is probably the hottest in terms of the quality: we’ve got the Queen Anne, the group two Coventry Stakes, the King’s Stand and St James’s Palace, which are both group ones, and then three further decent races, two of which are handicaps.

So that is seven races in all on day one of Royal Ascot 2021, and naturally we will all be looking to find some winners. First and foremost, here is our race-by-race guide, in which our experts give their selections. “And here is Marcus Armytage on the greatest Royal Ascot supporter of them all, HM The Queen.

If the students of Magdalen College’s Middle Common Room have removed a portrait of the Queen because it represented ‘colonial history,’ then I think Ascot could probably find a wall for it. For unlike the students the sport of kings and queens (and monarchs who do not identify as either) and Royal Ascot in particular cannot get enough of the racecourse’s 95-year-old owner.   Though this year’s meeting, with attendance restricted to 12,000, is unlikely ever to be surpassed in terms of customer experience – you will not have to queue for miles in traffic to get in and out or for the bar or face anything akin to the normal rugby scrum in top hat and tails – it will not really be patch on the real thing without the Royal Procession (for the second year in succession). ”

Racegoers enjoy the sun during day one Royal AscotCredit:PA

Another great star of the show is Stradivarius, who is set to face 12 rivals when he bids for a record-equalling fourth victory in the Gold Cup at Ascot.

John and Thady Gosden’s brilliant stayer will draw level with the great Yeats if he is triumphant for a fourth successive season, and will be steered by usual rider Frankie Dettori as he attempts to defend his title. Among his opponents, however, trainer Alan King has warned Trueshan will only run on Thursday if forecast rain arrives to ease the current good to firm ground. A Group Two winner over two miles at Ascot last year, the five-year-old will again be ridden by Hollie Doyle – but King has made it clear his participation depends on the weather.

The Barbury Castle trainer said: “I’ve declared Trueshan for the Gold Cup, but I just wanted to make everyone aware that he will only run if there is sufficient rain.

“I’m very happy with the horse, and there is the possibility of some rain, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”