The Royal Ascot meeting delivered excitement all week with new stars emerging and old stars such as Frankie Dettori still shining.
Dettori was excellent, while Danny Tudhope’s four wins ran him close for jockey of the week and Hayley Turner made history on Thanks Be.
Sportsmail takes a look at the best moments, races and performers from throughout the week.
Frankie Dettori was named the Royal Ascot meeting’s top jockey for a sixth time
JOCKEY OF THE WEEK
No surprise here, step forward Mr Lanfranco Dettori, master tactician, entertainer-in-chief and tormentor of bookmakers. To be the Royal Ascot meeting’s top jockey for a sixth time — for the first time since 2004 — was some achievement and showed that at 48 the Italian is still the man for the big occasion.
HORSE OF THE WEEK
Not much debate here, either, after Blue Point became only the third horse to complete the King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes double. Until last week, Blue Point had not been particularly lauded. That’s all changed now.
Blue Point (right) achieved a historic King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes double
TRAINER OF THE WEEK
This is a closer contest, but with three wins and a third place from 11 runners, the week was a major success for Roger Varian, extending the good season he is having. It could get better. Defoe, his Hardwicke Stakes winner, will return to Ascot next month for the King George, Wokingham Stakes winner Cape Bryon could be tested in the July Cup, while Albany Stakes winner Daahyeh will have the big two-year-old races for fillies on her agenda.
Trainer Roger Varian (right) enjoyed an immensely successful week of racing
TURNER TURNING POINT?
Hayley Turner’s win on Thanks Be in the Sandringham Stakes on Friday was only the second Royal Ascot winner for a woman jockey, 32 years after Gay Kelleway became the first. Female jockeys riding on the Flat get fewer good chances at Royal Ascot than their jump jockey counterparts at the Cheltenham Festival.
Turner’s success will not open the floodgates, but it was encouraging to see more female riders in action at the meeting including Hollie Doyle, Josephine Gordon, Megan Nicholls and Jane Elliott.
Hayley Turner’s win on Thanks Be could rpove to be a turning point for female riders
OH, DANNY BOY
Dettori may have stolen the riding headlines, but he only just pipped Danny Tudhope in being my jockey of the meeting.
The 33-year-old Scot, who was in action at Ripon on Thursday, had 10 rides at Royal Ascot and from those he secured four wins — Addeybb (Wolferton Stakes), Lord Glitters (Queen Anne Stakes), Space Traveller (Jersey Stakes) and Move Swiftly (Duke of Cambridge Stakes) — as well as grabbing a second place on Dream of Dreams (Diamond Jubilee Stakes) and thirds on Eagles By Day (King Edward VII Stakes) and Soldier’s Call (King’s Stand Stakes).
Recording four wins from 10 rides at the meeting was a success for Danny Tudhope
Watch Me was good in the Coronation Stakes while Norfolk Stakes winner A’Ali should be a force in the five- and six-furlong, two-year-old races.
But the most striking win of the week came from Japan in the King Edward VII Stakes. The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt had an interrupted preparation before his third-place finish in the Derby, won by stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, but it would be no surprise if he turns out to be the best of the O’Brien middle-distance string.
Anthony Van Dyck and O’Brien’s Derby fourth, Broome, head to Saturday’s Irish Derby. Japan’s next target could be the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes back at Ascot on July 27.
Ryan Moore and Japan put in the standout performance of the week in King Edward VII Stakes
THE EYES HAVE IT
The cricket World Cup is being played out behind a TV paywall — a sport missing the chance to inspire a future generation. The massive viewing figures for the England Women’s football team in their World Cup games on the BBC also dwarf the numbers who watched the men’s Nations Cup games on Sky.
The value of a terrestrial TV platform for racing was illustrated by the Royal Ascot peak viewing figure of 1.4million watching Dettori’s performance on ITV on Thursday. In contrast Sky’s Thursday figures peaked at just over 66,000. Food for thought.
ADVANCE OF THE WEEK
Sectional times from races were available on the track’s website and carried by specialist racing sites, making fascinating reading. They are a great innovation for the information-hungry punter.
For instance, the only horses to run a faster three furlongs on Thursday than Stradivarius did in the two-and-a-half mile Gold Cup were those running in the five-furlong sprint races.
Perhaps Silvestre de Sousa on Gold Cup runner-up Dee Ex Bee, who was staying on, could have pushed a little harder a little earlier.
The distance-travelled feature also threw up some interesting data, including the fact that Raffle Prize, Dettori’s winning mount in the Queen Mary Stakes, plotted a path to the finish line almost six metres shorter than Kimari, who finished second by a head.
In winning the Queen Mary Stakes with Dettori, Raffle Prize ran six metres less than their rivals
WATCH OUT FOR . . .
Among the defeated horses worth watching out for are John Quinn-trained Liberty Beach, the Queen Mary fourth who was disadvantaged having to race away from where the main action unfolded; Richard Fahey’s Norfolk Stakes runner-up Ventura Rebel, who did not get the breaks when needed; and Ben Vrackie, runner-up in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes on his seasonal debut, whose long charge from the back of the field just failed.