Day Three of Royal Ascot 2023 was the day that had it all, not least two Tom Marquand wins, including one for TM The King and Queen in their coronation year. What a thrilling end to the George V, confirmed in a photo finish, whose positive announcement saw the royal box erupt with smiles, and Ascot Racecourse erupt with cheers, claps and the upward thrust of top hats. Arriving to the winners enclosure, and accepting their prize from the Duke of Kent, the King and Queen talked through the race with proud delivering trainer Willliam Haggas.
But there were, indeed, two crowning moments in the week's centrepiece, with the midpoint feature going the way of our ambassador on Courage Mon Ami. Cue more cheers, a flying dismount, a bow to the King, a kiss for the Queen: Frankie accepted the Gold Cup trophy after his final appearance in the race. Alas, it wasn't to be for our charge, RacingBreaks Ryder, who finished 26th of 29 in the Britannia a race later. But as the opening notes of Hey Jude soared out into Ascot's evening air, we looked back on a perfect day in the sport we love. Only racing could provide a storyline like today's.
There were, quite understandably, tears from those closest to him as Kevin Stott was denied a perfect first Derby ride, with a win, on 3rd June. Could King Of Steel though, without the challenge of Auguste Rodin, put things right today, as the pair team up in the King Edward VII? Elsewhere, it’s a day for the Irish. Two-time Curragh and recent Haydock Sandy Lane winner Little Big Bear is here, and Dermot Weld’s Irish 1,000 Guineas winning Tahiyra has also made the trip over.
Tahiyra runs over 7f in the Coronation, while Little Big Bear is in the Commonwealth Cup over 6. There, his opposition comes from our ambassador on Lezoo. Look out, too for Soprano in the Albany (William Buick and George Boughey). Boughey also enters promising three-year-old Danger Alert in our last: the Palace of Holyrood House. Ed Dunlop, meanwhile, looks for glory with Haunted Dream in the Duke of Edinburgh.
Frankie's Mounts Today
Porta Fortuna is Frankie’s ride in the Albany , before he jumps aboard Arrest in the Edward VII, Lezoo in the Commonwealth and Coppice in the Sandringham at 5:35pm. Porta Fortuna, trained by Donnacha O’Brien, is a 2-year-old with two from two already to her name, while Coppice (the Gosdens’ charge) has a recent Newcastle win under her belt, after coming home tenth of fifteen in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket.
Lezoo, meanwhile, is last year’s Princess Margaret and Cheveley Park winner, recording an adequate eighth in the 1,000 Guineas this season to back up her prowess. And Arrest needs no introduction. Storming clear in the Chester Vase, in the Derby she may have had what John Gosden described as “legs in every county”. But she looks set to bounce back today, on the penultimate card of the royal meeting in 2023.
-> Don't forget to tag us and Frankie in photos of you waving goodbye to our ambassador on his farewell tour, including #RacingBreaks. Best waves will receive free tickets to Terrace Club hospitality at Royal Ascot in 2024!