A Grand History: 4 of Royal Ascot’s Best Ever Moments
June 19, 2017
With more than 300 years of history, it is also fair to surmise that the Ascot Racecourse has seen some truly incredible moments and unbelievable shocks in its time, particularly during the site’s annual royal event.
At Bet Hut, we thought that it was only right that we should celebrate this rich and diverse heritage, by highlighting four of Royal Ascot’s best ever moments:
Treve Underperforms at the Prince of Wales Stakes in 2014
While the Prince of Wales Stakes is not one of Royal Ascot’s most famous races, it is an exceptionally popular event that has produced some staggering results in recent times.
One of these results came just three years ago in 2014, when the incredibly talented Treve and his jockey Frankie Dettori travelled over from France after a stunning victory at the world’s most prestigious flat-turf race at Longchamp during the previous year.
While Treve may have been billed as the sport’s latest unstoppable force and a horse that could well go on to dominate the flat, however, her form fell away at the worst possible time. The first warning signs became apparent prior to the race, with Dettori clearly uncomfortable throughout the preliminaries, and Treve ultimately achieved a disappointing and distant third place finish behind The Fugu.
This was one of the biggest shocks in the events history, and one that cost the bookmakers significant amounts.
Estimate Wins the Gold Cup Against the Odds in 2013
While you can access the latest Royal Ascot odds here, these are not always the biggest indicator of who will prevail.
This notion was reaffirmed in 2013, when outsider Estimate produced one of the most courageous and famous Gold Cup triumphs of all-time.
After a poor start, Estimate’s race appeared to be going as many had predicted. Trained by the famous Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, Estimate looked set for an underwhelming finish as the leaders pulled ahead. She suddenly showcased incredible resilience and tenacity, however, gradually overhauling the field and inching ahead during the closing stages.
As she crossed the line, the crowd gasped in response to a truly incredible win. They were soon in raptures too, celebrating one of the most famous and fitting triumph’s in living memory.
Black Caviar Flirts With Defeat in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012
For those who don’t know, Black Caviar was the Usain Bolt of flat sprinters in 2012. Known as one of the greatest horses ever to grace the flat, she arrived at Ascot five years ago on an unbeaten run of 21 consecutive victories and was odds on to prevail in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The performance of Black Caviar produced both brilliance and complacency in equal measure, however, while it led to one of the most memorable finishes of all-time.
Most of the six-furlong race unfolded as anticipated, of course, with the horse and her jockey Luke Nolen romping ahead of their rivals. Nolen decided to lengthen the horses stride during the final two furlongs, however, with Black Caviar soon cantering towards the finish line. A late surge by her rivals left Nolen struggling to reach for his mount and maintain the lead in the final stretch, triggering a photo-finish that was as close as it was unexpected.
History will say that Black Caviar won that race, delivering the result that her talent demanded. This will never tell the story of the race, however, or the incredible finish that almost defied description.
Choisir Achieves Ascot’s Biggest Shock at the King’s Stand Stakes in 2003
We finish with the single biggest shock at Royal Ascot, in the King’s Stand Stakes of 2003. This honour goes to the previously unheralded Choisir, whose only initial claim to fame was that he first Australian horse to compete at the event.
Given no chance and priced at 25/1 to win the five-furlong sprint, Choisir shocked the entire world by romping home and annihilating a truly accomplished and classy field. Jockey Johnny Murtagh never saw a single rival challenge his dominance, leading from start to finish as his mount delivered to performance of his life.
Fans gasped in shock at the end, even though the end result was clear long before the record-breaking Choisir crossed the line. Make no mistake; this performance remains Royal Ascot’s biggest shock to date, and one that will take some topping in the future.