At the Royal Ascot, legendary jockey Frankie Dettori claimed his ninth Gold Cup with Courage Mon Ami, while Desert Hero secured King Charles his maiden victory at the famous event.
Frankie Dettori’s Unprecedented Ninth Gold Cup
Frankie Dettori won his sixth Ascot Gold Cup, capping off a spectacular last season before retirement. In an intense head-to-head battle against Oisin Murphy and Coltrane, the Italian jockey triumphed with the four-year-old horse Courage Mon Ami.
Dettori’s courage on the racecourse was mirrored by the exceptional performance of Courage Mon Ami. The gelding had to demonstrate extraordinary tenacity to secure Dettori a second victory in the week while maintaining an unbeaten streak over four starts.
Dettori admitted that he had some reservations about Courage Mon Ami when he first saw it. “I thought he was a bit of a chance coming from handicaps,” the jockey said, “but John [Gosden] was confident.”
Winning trainer John Gosden praised Dettori’s performance, saying, “Frankie saved every inch and slipped through.” His nerves were superior to ours.”
King Charles Celebrates First Royal Ascot Victory with Desert Hero
On the same day, Desert Hero delivered a memorable first victory at Royal Ascot for King Charles. The horse’s triumphant finish in the King George V Stakes, beating out Valiant King and Bertinelli, marked one of the most distinguished moments for the royal family at this prestigious event.
Desert Hero’s jockey, Tom Marquand, called the experience “one of his proudest moments in the saddle.”
King Charles and Queen Camilla were overcome with emotion when they witnessed the victory. Zara Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, suggested that the royal family’s victory was bittersweet because her grandmother would have been overjoyed. “Think about how proud our grandmother, the Queen, would’ve been,” she continued.
To add to the excitement of the day, Marquand won the Hampton Court Stakes on Waipiro, cementing his presence at Royal Ascot.
Other Notable Races and Performances
The event also witnessed a shock 150-1 victory by Valiant Force in the Norfolk Stakes, tying the record for the highest-priced winner at Royal Ascot.
The last Buckingham Palace Stakes went to Witch Hunter, a 50-1 outsider, while Docklands, ridden by Hayley Turner, won the Britannia Stakes. Aidan O’Brien’s Warm Heart won the Ribblesdale Stakes, giving Ryan Moore his 77th Royal Ascot victory.
With such performances, the Royal Ascot once again illustrated why it is one of the most prestigious horse racing events on the calendar.