Dashing Willoughby wins at Royal Ascot after a monster gamble


Day Two of Royal Ascot started off with a bang, with Raffle Prize getting up to win the Queen Mary Stakes at odds of 18/1.

Frankie Dettori was on board for what looked like a very open betting contest, with the rain falling heavily before the off, with the Queen in attendance at the racecourse once again.

Trainer Mark Johnston had won the Queen Mary before and the horse had a suitably high draw, with Kimari running him close in second place, thus denying trainer Wesley Ward a fourth victory in the space of eleven renewals.

Dettori cut a delighted figure after the race and said: “I was very inspired, it was a very close race and it was in the lap of the gods.”

The Italian jockey also forecasted that soft ground would materialise later in the day, with Kimari coming home at odds of 13/2 and race favourite Final Song was also in the frame when finishing fast at odds of 6/1.

A bookmaker spokesman said: “Raffle Prize saved us from a bigger payout on the second and third-placed horse, although there was still money for the winner.”

The second race of Day Two at Royal Ascot was the Queens Vase and two Aidan O’Brien horses were at the head of the market, although neither Norway or Western Australia were able to make an impact in the race.

However, there was plenty of money for third favourite Dashing Willoughby and the horse ran very gamely to land the gamble, with jockey Oisin Murphy battling away to make sure his charge got up.

Barbados was a 20/1 runner-up in the race and he was followed home by Nayef Road, with the bookies experiencing mixed emotions after getting the first two in the betting market beaten but having to pay out on a horse that had traded at 14/1 but ended up going off at 6/1.

The bookmakers were certainly beaten when it came to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, with Crystal Ocean obliging at 3/1 to make it a double for Frankie Dettori on Wednesday.

Magical was sent off as the 13/8 favourite although Ryan Moore wasn’t able to get into the right position and was left chasing hard as Crystal Ocean went for home a long way out.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: "It was great team work. Several people ride him work, including Ted Durcan.

"He's been very consistent. If you look at his record, it's quite amazing. It's great for the (Southcourt) stud to have a Group One horse. I thought he ran very well in the Champion Stakes last year.

“He ran better than I thought. He may be better at a mile and a half, but he's certainly a pretty good horse at a mile and a quarter and he's proved that today."

Waldgeist was the 4/1 third placed horse, with plenty of punters enjoying an each-way return on their bet, with Crystal Ocean having been well backed in the lead-up to the race.

The Duke of Cambridge Stakes saw I Can Fly sent off as the 7/2 favourite, although she was only able to land third place in this one mile encounter, while 4/1 shot Rawdaa finished as runner-up.

The horse that usurped them both was Move Swiftly who had been the subject of plenty of money leading up to the race, with William Haggas cutting a delighted figure after experiencing disappointment earlier in the day.

Next came the Royal Hunt Cup where the bookies were pleased to see the joint-favourites out of the frame. New Graduate and Kynren were sent off at 11/2 although they failed to make an impression.

However, we did get an exciting finish to the race, with Afaak and Clon Coulis battling it out to the line and it was the former who was given the nod in a photo finish, thus obliging at odds of 20/1.

Clon Coulis was second at 16/1, with Raising Sand a shorter 8/1 and ran a fantastic race, while Stylehunter was fourth at odds of 20/1 to scoop some valuable each-way money for some customers.

The final race of Day Two of Royal Ascot was the Windsor Castle Stakes, with Southern Hills winning for Aidan O’Brien at odds of 7/1, with Platinum Star home second at 8/1 and Glasvegas obliging in third place at 25/1.