As 9.6mm rain pattered down yesterday morning, in his farewell Royal Ascot week, our ambassador prepared for a magic starting gun start. Alas, Day One 2023 was not to be his. Denied by a neck on Inspiral, Paddington would later dominantly assert himself the better of Chaldean in the St James's Palace. Then, to rub salt into his wounds, on royal runner Saga, Frankie picked up nine days for careless riding, ruling him out of Sandown's Eclipse on 8th July (his ban doesn't come into force until the week is out). Paddington was Ryan Moore's second win of the afternoon, with victory on 2-year-old River Tiber in the Coventry at 3:05pm: the first group race of the year for upcoming stars.
Paddington, too, delivered both Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien major milestones. Aidan O'Brien overtook Sir Michael Stoute as this meeting's winningmost trainer, and Ryan Moore picked up his 75th royal Ascot success. Success, too, was to come for last year's Coventry winner Bradsell, who delivered this year in the King's Stand for Hollie Doyle and Archie Watson. The pair, surviving a stewards enquiry, had just a race before been seen off by a neck with Army Ethos, and the agonising wait had echoes of Watson's Dragon Symbol loss two years ago. No doubt about the winner of our final contest yesterday, though: a 7 1/2 length winner of the Copper Horse for Willie Mullins. Cheltenham Festival to Royal Ascot... sometimes racing's two codes collide!
Last year's Irish Champions winner, Luxembourg, is our star today, as he looks to see off 2021 Derby winner Adayar, Bay Bridge and My Prospero in the Prince of Wales at 4:20pm. Fresh from a 2023 big race success in The Curragh's Tattersalls Gold Cup, the opposition is a tougher (but not insurmountable) challenge for the 4-year-old this afternoon. Elsewhere, our ambassador rides dual winner Gregory in the Queens Vase at 5:35pm.
Just as Aidan O'Brien seeks another tally on a now infinite Ascot scoreboard, son Joseph brings Jumbly to the Duke of Cambridge at 3:40pm. Rogue Millennium is his danger. Prosperous Voyage, too, for Ralph Beckett looks set to swoop, following Derby Day success in the Princess Elizabeth, when our ambassador was onboard. The Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and Royal Hunt Cup complete a line up that begins with the Queen Mary at 2:30pm.
Frankie's Mounts Today
There are four major rides for our ambassador on Day Two, including Prosperous Voyage in the Duke of Cambridge at 3:40pm. Frankie also rides Tamarama for Ralph Beckett in the Kensington Palace (another one for the girls), who comes off similar success at Kempton, in a handicap earlier this month.
Aforementioned Gregory is his mount in the Queen's Vase, looking to follow on his two from two at Haydock and Goodwood in April and May of this year respectively. And Reach For The Moon has Frankie onboard for the Royal Hunt Cup.
-> 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!