Royal Ascot Trials Day: What You Need To Know

Royal Ascot is without a doubt one of the finest occasions held in summer. Each year, the prized event takes place over five days in June and combines spectacular horse racing with a glamorous social atmosphere. Guests can enjoy multiple Grade One races, gorgeous fashion choices and unrivalled dining options. All taking place in the beautiful setting that is Ascot Racecourse. Now, for those of us who can’t wait until the Royal Meeting commences, we now have a dedicated ‘trials’ raceday to look towards!

Everything You Need To Know About The New Trials Day

With the jumps season in full force, flat racing fans are eagerly anticipating the return of flat racing – Royal Ascot being the renowned highlight. Racegoers can now look forward to Royal Ascot Trials Day in preparation for the big meeting! Find out everything you need to know about this raceday below!

What is the Royal Ascot Trials Day?

Royal Ascot Trials Day, previously called Sagaro Stakes Raceday, is the first Flat meeting held at Ascot racecourse. The raceday will function as a preparation for the key races at the Royal Ascot meeting.

When is Royal Ascot Trials Day?

This year, Royal Ascot Trials Day will be held for the first time on Wednesday 1st May 2019. In years to come, it should remain and take place in late April or early May.

What races will be held on Royal Ascot Trials Day?

The raceday will feature a total of seven races which will serve to prepare horses for Royal Ascot, four of which will be specific trials.

The opening race will be specifically for two year olds, named the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial, it will allow free entry for connections. The winner of this race will be granted complimentary entry to a two-year-old race at Royal Ascot.

There will also be a Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes which will form significant preparation for the Group One Commonwealth Cup at the grand Royal Meeting. Royal Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup is one of the most thrilling races featuring some of the biggest horses such as Quiet Reflection and Sand Of Mali competing.

The Longines Sagaro Stakes will now function as a Royal Ascot Gold Cup Trial race. This race is a key contest early in the season and has been won by the likes of Estimate and Colour Vision who then went on to attain the highly coveted Gold Cup title.

Trials day racegoers will be able to find Royal Ascot clues in the Paradise Stakes, now the Queen Anne Stakes Trial. Last year the Queen Anne Stakes winner Accidental Agent finished third in the Paradise Stakes. Thus horse racing fans can keep a keen eye out on this race to see which contenders will provide a strong test for the Queen Anne Stakes.

What are the changes at Royal Ascot?

This year at Royal Ascot, there will be a few minor changes to the racing schedule to be aware of.

The Windsor Castle Stakes will be run as the sixth race on the card on Wednesday 19th June 2019. The Jersey stakes will be run as the second race on the card on Saturday 22nd June 2019. This race will then be followed by the Hardwicke Stakes. The Queen’s Vase has now been reverted to a closing race. The prize money for this race has now been increased by £25,000, making it a total of £225,000.

What can I expect at Royal Ascot?

Expect nothing but the best at this year’s Royal Ascot meeting! Flat racing fans can look forward to some of the greatest Group One races including: the Queen Anne Stakes, the King’s Stand Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes on the Tuesday of the meeting. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes takes place on the Wednesday and of course the riveting Gold Cup race on Ladies’ Day. Friday of Royal Ascot sees the Commonwealth Cup and the Coronation Stakes taking place. And the final day of Royal Ascot boasts The Diamond Jubilee Stakes!

With so many Group One contests held at Royal Ascot each year, racegoers are sure to witness the finest in flat racing.

What other changes are taking place this flat season?

The 2019 flat season at Ascot Racecourse sees a number of new changes this year! May Racing Weekend will see two new races, making each day a seven race card. Friday’s additional race will be a six furlong handicap held in the afternoon and worth a grand £10,000, whilst Saturday’s race will be a 1m2f handicap also worth £10,000.



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Frankie Dettori: A Royal Ascot Icon

Frankie Dettori is without a doubt one of the most prolific and successful jockeys to ride at Royal Ascot. Throughout his career which spans over thirty years, Dettori has ridden well over five hundred winners and has managed to attain the much coveted Champion Jockey title on three separate occasions. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest jockeys riding, with many of his notable wins occurring at the renowned Ascot Racecourse.

Frankie Dettori’s Road to Success

It all started at the age of thirteen, when a young Dettori left school to pursue a career as an apprentice jockey and stable boy. After spending a year working at this, the young Italian went on to Great Britain which allowed him to apprentice with well known trainer Luca Cumani at Newmarket in 1985. Shortly after this, he became a stable jockey.

As a mere teenager, he quickly established himself as a notable and upcoming jockey. His first win came at the age of 16 in Turin in November 1986, while his first victory in Britain was the next June. In 1990, the young Frankie Dettori became the first teenager since Lester Piggott to ride 100 winners in one season. Dettori was on a sure road to greatness. Indeed, by the end of the 2017 season, he had ridden more than 3,000 winners in Great Britain, over 750 more than the next currently active jockey.

Further success continued to follow, with numerous winners in Group 1 races. To date, he is well known for his distinctive “flying dismounts.”

Dettori’s Magnificent Seven at Ascot

On 28 September 1996 Frankie Dettori achieved the immense success of winning all seven races on a single day at Ascot Racecourse’s British Champions’ Day. This is widely regarded as his most celebrated achievement to date.

Winning all seven races on the card was a near-impossible feat that Frankie managed to attain. This included the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The collective odds of these wins was 25,051-1, which earned one lucky racegoer an incredible £500,000 when Dettori completed his ‘Magnificent Seven’.

This was certainly a landmark day for British horseracing, and made a hero of Dettori. Though he was already a well-known jockey prior to this, the achievement made him a household name. Below are the prominent and Magnificent Seven.

Wall Street at 2/1 Odds

Frankie Dettori’s first winning horse was called Wall Street, an incredibly fitting name since he single-handedly cost the betting industry more than £30 million. Frankie guided the three-year-old colt home over the mile and a half course to claim his first victory of the afternoon in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes.

At 2/1 odds, this was not the most surprising of Dettori’s winners of the day, but it set him up for a day of victory.

Diffident at 12/1 Odds

Diffident had a history of disappointing results, and it was thought that Frankie Dettori had little chance of victory on the 12/1 shot. Nonetheless, the Diadem Stakes was run fairly slowly, and this went in Diffident’s favour to result in win number two of the day for Frankie.

This was also the standout run of Diffident’s seven career wins.

Mark of Esteem at 100/30 Odds

This intense race came down to a two-way battle between Mark of Esteem and Henry Cecil’s competitive filly Bosra Sham. Dettori asked the horse for maximum effort and went on to claim his third victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. This win rendered him the best in Europe that year.

Decorated Hero at 7/1 Odds

Another rightly named horse allowed Dettori his fourth win in the Tote Festival Handicap. The race had 26 runners, and Decorated Hero carried the top weight of 9st13lb. With this in mind, Dettori’s chances of winning looked slim, however, his luck continued to increase as he pulled off a three-and-a-half length victory.

Fatefully at 7/4 Odds

Although narrow, this was still a great victory for Dettori in the Rosemary Stakes. Rival Ray Cochrane aboard Abeyr recalls the moment saying:

“As we pulled up, the horses were very close. I said, ‘Is anyone else getting a chance today?’”

Lochangel at 5/4 Odds

Triumph on Lochangel in the Blue Seal Stakes continued an astounding run for Dettori as he returned to the winners’ enclosure for the sixth time.

Fujiyama Crest at 2/1 Odds

This race attracted much media attention with the BBC interrupting its traditional Grandstand coverage to broadcast the live action from Ascot. The bookies slashed the odds for Dettori’s final mount, Fujiyama Crest. Initially set off as 12/1 favourite for the Gordon Carter Handicap, the odds were then 2/1. Many didn’t think the horse would win, however, he defeated Northern Fleet to seal Dettori’s place in the history books. A satisfying and magnificent finish.

Dettori’s Notable Ascot Wins

Frankie Dettori’s success story didn’t end there, since 1996 he has and continues to win a number of notable races at Ascot racecourse.

A few of his many wins include the Ascot Gold Cup in 1992, 1993, 1998, 2004, 2012 and 2018. In 2016 he won the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes and the Champion Stakes twice in a row in 2017 and 2018.

He triumphed in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 1995, and again twenty years later in 2015.

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is another race that granted Dettori five victories in 1995, 1998, 1999, 2004 and the famous victory in 2017 with Enable.

The highly coveted Queen Anne Stakes was won by Dettorri an impressive six times in 1990, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2007. Likewise, the champion jockey took victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes six times in 1990, 1996, 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2017.

What’s Next for Frankie?

In 2018’s Royal Ascot meeting Frankie Dettori once again stole the limelight on the opening day with a commendable three wins for John Gosden. He now stands as Royal Ascot’s third most successful jockey of all time, with only Lester Piggott and the late Pat Eddery above him.

It certainly doesn’t look as though the champion will be retiring anytime soon. The world’s best jockey (2017) noted on his plans to continue racing stating:

“I’ll carry on as long as I can. If I can get five years out of it, great. […] I’m 48. I get to 50 in 23 months’ time. I’m sure I can get to it. Hopefully I can ride his [Cracksman’s] progeny.”

With that said, we are sure Mr Dettori has many more wins to come and only time will tell what Royal Ascot 2019 and beyond have in store for this renowned victor.



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Royal Ascot’s Potential International Runners

With the calibre of runners at Royal Ascot increasing each year, racegoers can anticipate some of the biggest names in horse racing to attend this prestigious five day event. Indeed, with a total of eight Group One races throughout the five days, the Royal Meeting demands excellence! And so, excellent horses travel from far and wide every year to contest on the renowned Ascot Racecourse track.

The increase of international participation at Royal Ascot has allowed the meeting to gain added levels of admiration globally. With horses from Australia, America and even Japan contesting right here in England.

As the excitement for Royal Ascot continues to build, we’ve put together our pick of the top five international horses we’d love to see run at Royal Ascot in 2019!

Newspaperofrecord in the Coronation Stakes

Newspaperofrecord is an Irish-bred and American-trained thoroughbred racehorse. The three year old filly has an amazing record to date and despite having run in only eight races, she remains unbeaten.

Newspaperofrecord produced a notable performance at the Breeders’ Cup in 2018, going on to win the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Many claim she would’ve had a significant chance of also attaining victory in the the 1,000 Guineas if given the change to run.

Following her immense success at Churchill Downs, a trip to Royal Ascot in summer looks like a strong possibility for the rising star. The Coronation Stakes, Royal Ascot’s Group One flat race that is open to three-year-old fillies, seems like the perfect entry for Newspaperofrecord.

Almond Eye in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes

Almond Eye is a Japanese thoroughbred racehorse. In 2018 she went on to win the Oka Sho, Yushun Himba and Shuka Sho, completing the Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown. This is considered as one of the greatest accomplishments in Thoroughbred racing for three year old horses. In November 2018, she ended an unbeaten season with a record-breaking win of the the Japan Cup. An outstanding victory for an outstanding runner.

According to reports, she is set to target The Dubai Turf and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Nonetheless, running in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes would be a fantastic opportunity for the horse, another Group One flat race open to horses aged four and older.

Beauty Generation in the Queen Anne Stakes

Beauty Generation is a six year old gelding bred in New Zealand. Throughout his racing career, the horse has acquired a total of thirty three wins. It seems as though owner Patrick Kwok and his team have are determined to make Beauty Generation one of the highest-earning horses in Hong Kong history.

Although the Yasuda Kinen in Japan is reportedly the most prominent overseas target for the six-year-old, the thought of such a superstar lining up for the very first race of the Royal Meeting is an exciting prospect.

The Mackem Bullet in the Commonwealth Cup

The Mackem Bullet is an Irish-bred three year old filly. Recently the horse was transferred from training under Brian Ellison to the hands of Wesley Ward – a firm Royal Ascot lover. As a trainer, his exploits at the meeting are well known, and he’s brought over an increasing number of older and more experienced horses to supplement his agile younger horses.

The Mackem Bullet ended 2018 exceptionally with a wide margin win at Turfway Park at the end of December. This victory followed her superb win at Carlisle in June, making an impressive juvenile season for the filly!

The Commonwealth Cup would be a suitable entry for the horse, open to three-year-olds. The race is the only Group One flat race in Great Britain exclusively for three-year-olds that also allows geldings to compete.

The Autumn Sun in the Diamond Jubilee or Queen Anne

The Autumn Sun is a thoroughbred racehorse trained and bred in Australia. To date, he has won a total of three Group One races and a further Group One victory could be on the cards if he heads to Royal Ascot in the summer.

After making an eye catching and victorious debut at Royal Randwick in April 2018, the leading horse then went on to win his second race at Randwick just a few months later. Many praised the horse claiming ‘the further the race went the more decisive and dominant he became.’

It’s reported that trainer Chris Waller acknowledges that a trip to Ascot would be seriously discussed with the horse’s owners, with the largest issue merely being which specific race he enters.

Royal Ascot’s Previous International Runners

The prospect of seeing these runners at Royal Ascot 2019 is a thrilling one considering how international horses have fared in recent years. In 2017, a record number of fourteen US horses contested on the tuft at Ascot. Australian runners have also proved victorious, with Choisir and Black Caviar paving the way for many more Australian horses.

American thoroughbred Lady Aurelia won the Group 2 Queen Mary stakes in 2016 and followed that up with a remarkable victory in the 2017 Kings Stand Stakes. Nonetheless, her 2016 Queen Mary victory remains one of the most exceptional performances in recent Royal Ascot history.

In 2018’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, international horse dominated the track at Ascot Racecourse. Australia’s Merchant Navy went on to win the race with France’s City Light coming in second, and America’s Bound For Nowhere coming in third.

With a total of eighty five international runners at last years Royal Ascot, racegoers can certainly look forward to an increased number of the world’s greatest race horses competing at the Royal Meeting. Thus, 2019 is sure to be another record breaking year for international talent.



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Royal Ascot’s Most Iconic Horses

Royal Ascot is an unrivalled event. The five days alone attracts well over 300,000 racegoers who enjoy everything this splendid meeting has to offer. From a multitude of Group One races to the statement fashion choices displayed and luxurious hospitality options – Royal Ascot has much to adore.

As the excitement for Royal Ascot 2019 continues to build, we’ve put together five of the most iconic horses to run in Royal Ascot history. Perfect for fuelling your desire for next year’s event!

A History of Great Runners at Royal Ascot

Brown Jack (1924–1948)

A horse of many talents – Brown Jack was a thoroughbred racehorse that raced both on hurdles and on flat. He specialised in longer races and throughout his career won in many prominent races including: Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

During the years of 1929 and 1934, Brown Jack achieved victory which is highly unlikely to be repeated again. The runner won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot for six years in a row – an achievement like no other!

The fact that Brown Jack started his career as hurdler is a unique trait. As a four year old, he attained glory at Cheltenham Festival before he switched to flat racing in the same year. Demonstrating his talent in different forms.

Brown Jack also won the Ascot Stakes title in 1928, his trainer Ivor Antony saw him win a further ten titles over the next six years.

In honour of the prolific winner, Ascot holds a spectacular bronze statue of the horse.

Estimate (foaled 2009)

The Irish-bred horse Estimate is a thoroughbred racehorse who has won many major titles. A notable victory was the Queen’s Vase that she won at Royal Ascot when she was a three-year-old. The runner continued to attain success, winning the Sagaro Stakes and the Gold Cup.

The superstar filly is owned by Queen Elizabeth II and trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Indeed, the Royal family have always been closely allied with Royal Ascot and a victory for a horse, such as Estimate, bearing The Queen’s colours is celebrated and cherished more than any other winner.

In 2012, Sir Michael Stoute trained Estimate who carried the Queen’s silks into the Royal Ascot winners’ enclosure, after taking the Queen’s Vase title with Ryan Moore.

The next year, the four-year-old filly entered into grade one racing for the first time when she ran in the Ascot Gold Cup. Ryan Moore timed his late charge to complete perfection and Estimate was able to make history and claim Gold Cup glory for the Royal Family for the first time.

Yeats (foaled 2001)

Another phenomenal racer – Yeats is an Irish thoroughbred racehorse who has seven Group One victories to his name. He is also the only horse to win Ascot’s Gold Cup four times successively.

Yeats’ four successive Gold Cup triumphs during 2006 and 2009 ensures he goes down in history as one of the greatest horses ever to grace the Royal Ascot turf. Much to the glory of trainer Aiden O’Brien.

His wins in the Coronation and Goodwood Cups helped in setting a great platform for his future successes.

The runner’s dominant displays in the Gold Cup earned him the honour of European Champion Stayer four years in a row.

Shortly after his retirement, Royal Ascot paid tribute to the four-time champion. In 2011, a statue within the Parade Ring was established, forever commemorating Yeats’ extraordinary accomplishments.

Black Caviar (foaled 2006)

The international superstar that is Black Caviar. The Australian thoroughbred racehorse was undefeated in twenty five races, including fifteen Group One victories.

In 2012, Australia’s most celebrated horse ran the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, establishing a commanding lead to triumph in the final furlong.

Black Caviar retired as one of the most famous horses around the world. With the privilege of ending her career with a flawless record of twenty five consecutive victories. Nonetheless, her stunning performances at Royal Ascot shines brightest.

Frankel (foaled 2008)

The best horse ever seen. Frankel is British Thoroughbred racehorse who managed to remain unbeaten in his fourteen-race career and was the highest-rated racehorse in the world from May 2011.

His trainer, the late and great Sir Henry Cecil described him as “the best horse I have ever seen” – a grand title to bear to say the least.

Frankel’s 2011 performance in the 2011 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes certainly contributed in establishing his formidable reputation as one of the greatest.

His commanding display in the 2000 Guineas was one that cemented his legacy. The other competitors knew they were in the presence of significant greatness as Tom Queally drove his mount clear of all his Royal Ascot pursuers with incredible ease.

After the Queen Anne Stakes on Champions Day, Frankel was awarded a rating of 147 – the highest rating to ever be bestowed on a racer. Undoubtedly cementing his name as one of the greatest of all time.

Who Will Make History at Royal Ascot 2019?

As we pay tribute to these glorious horses, room must be made for the next generation of iconic runners.

With Royal Ascot 2019 speedily coming upon us, it will be interesting to see which horses will make history at one of Britain’s most prized horse racing events. You do not want to miss out!

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