Valiant Force Norfolk Stakes Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot: Surprise Winners

There are a plethora of races that take place every year as part of the iconic Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse, and there have been some surprise winners over the years. Here, we take a look at some of them.

When Royal Ascot takes place each and every year at the ever iconic Ascot Racecourse, the horse racing never fails to be memorable. Now, with the 2024 renewal approaching anticipation is high as we anticipate the enthralling action to come when the five days of action gets underway on Tuesday 18th June 2024. The racing then comes to a close on Saturday 22nd June 2024.

Over the course of this year’s Royal Ascot, there will be 7 races taking place meaning that there will be a total of 35 races taking place throughout proceedings at Ascot. There are certainly plenty of opportunities for shock winners with results always being unpredictable which makes this event even more thrilling.

It is the legendary Jockey Lester Piggott who has the most career wins at this event with no less than 116 over his decades long illustrious career. This includes no less than 11 wins in Royal Ascot’s most prestigious race of all – the Ascot Gold Cup.

Aidan O’Brien, with 85, currently holds the record for the most wins of any trainer in the history of this highly prestigious event. In the aforementioned Gold Cup, it is Yeats who has the most wins with three in total.

Now we are going to go through some of the most surprising winners of any race that has taken place at Royal Ascot over the years.

Accidental Agent – Queen Anne Stakes (2018)

We begin this list with the 2018 renewal of the iconic Queen Anne Stakes. Benbatl was the pre-race favourite, but instead, it was Accidental Agent, a horse seen as an almost complete outsider to win the race who came out on top in the end to the shock of all those in attendance on that particular day.

Jockey Charles Bishop managed to fend off fierce competition from the likes of Jamie Spencer’s Lord Glitters and Oisin Murphy’s Lightning Spear who came second and third respectively. As for Benbatl, it was to be a 10th place finish overall.

Valiant Force – Norfolk Stakes (2023)

Next up we take a look at last year’s running of the famous Norfolk Stakes where Rossa Ryan and Valiant Force emerged as the shock winners of this race in the end ahead of Oisin Orr’s Malc who was runner-up, followed by Clifford Lee’s Elite Status in third. Elite Status was the pre-race favourite, but could not stop Valiant Force from emerging as the winner.

Just like Accidental Agent before him, very few people gave Valiant Force a strong chance of securing the win in last year’s Norfolk Stakes with his odds not being favourable ahead of the race.

Don’t Worry Me – King’s Stand Stakes (1997)

Finally, we now go back to 1997 for that year’s King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot Racecourse. That year’s renewal of this race saw Don’t Worry Me, ridden by Olivier Peslier, take home the win on what was a first-ever race at the prestigious Royal Ascot for Don’t Worry Me.

It was in the final furlong that Olivier Peslier saw his chance of putting Don’t Worry Me into the lead, bursting through the gap to win by a margin of just a nose in the end. The odds not being in the horse’s favour and the fact that this was a debut race for Don’t Worry Me made this triumph all the more remarkable.

With the 2024 renewal of the iconic and illustrious Royal Ascot underway in a matter of weeks at Ascot Racecourse, excitement, and anticipation are certainly on the rise amongst horse racing fans.

There is no better way to experience world-class horse racing at the 2024 Royal Ascot than with an Eventmasters VIP Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment.

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