Fantastic finishes of the 21st century at Royal Ascot
The magic of Royal Ascot seldom fails to produce racing moments that both astound and amaze in equal measure; with intense duels taking place year after year up the iconic straight.
The event attracts the best horses and jockeys from all over the world, so it’s little wonder that the meeting continually produces incredibly tight races with the competition being as intense as it always is.
We roll through five of the most memorable battles to the finish line this century.
1. Twilight Son, Diamond Jubilee – 2016
A show-stopping finish to start this list off as no less than five horses fought out the finish to the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes; with they Henry Candy-trained Twilight Son just prevailing.
It was a fantastically-timed challenge from jockey Ryan Moore who sat just off the long-time leader Signs of Blessing for most of the straight before unleashing his mount to get up late in the final furlong.
2. Rewilding, Prince of Wales’s Stakes – 2011
Few could have expected such a barnstorming finish in a race that most pundits had predicted would be a procession. Red-hot favourite So You Think was so well fancied for victory that punters backed him into prohibitively short odds of 1/4 to claim a top level victory at racing’s most prestigious event.
And it was all going very much according to script as The New Zealand-bred thoroughbred coasted into the lead with a quarter of a mile to run, seemingly set to stretch clear of his rivals with minimal fuss.
However, relative long shot Rewilding and his jockey Frankie Dettori shocked everyone by eating into the favourite’s four length deficit; then pipping the long-time leader on the line.
3. Big Orange, Gold Cup – 2017
A marathon race won by the smallest of margins, the 2017 renewal of the Royal meeting’s feature contest was certainly one to remember.
A heart-pounding duel between equine gladiators Big Orange and Order of St George with the Michael Bell-trained Big Orange eventually edging out the then reigning champion, Order of St George. The big bay immediately became a darling of the racing public for his gritty battling performance under James Doyle.
4. Estimate, Gold Cup – 2013
A truly historic moment in the Royal meetings glittering 108 year history as Her Majesty The Queen became the first ruling monarch to win the feature race of the week!
The four-year-old filly Estimate had shown her potential when landing the Queen’s Vase at the meeting in the year prior and was well-fancied to land the spoils on the biggest stage in 2013. With both the former Gold Cup winner Colour Vision and the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon attempting to wrestle the crown from her in the final furlong, the filly showed battling qualities in spades to ensure her head crossed the line in first place under jockey Ryan Moore.
5. Giant’s Causeway, St James’s Palace – 2000
The brilliant Aidan O’Brien trained miler was famed for his tenacity in the finish and this was most evident in his win in St James’s Palace Stakes. Having been headed at the furlong poll he dug into his deepest reserves to get up and win by a head from Valentino.
The victory at Royal Ascot kicked off a streak of four Group One wins in a row; he finished with a record of 9 wins and 4 runners-up spots in all 13 of his races!