Day one of Royal Ascot kicked off with a victory for Palace Pier for John and Thady Gosden under Frankie Dettori in the Group 1 Queen Anne stakes. The winner was sent off at the supposedly prohibitive odds of 2/7 but had been 4/9 in the morning. It appeared were punters keen to steam in an get a Royal Ascot winner under their belts. Those that really had a lump on may have had a few moments of anxiety when the favourite was niggled along briefly three out. Those jitters were soon allayed as Dettori asserted and put the race to bed ultimately winning nicely if not impressively. One punter on course is reported to have invested £35,000 at 4/11 in cold hard cash.
The Group 2 Coventry Stakes went the way of the bookmakers. Punters hoping that the Gosden team were likely to bag a quick-fire double backed their charge Dhabab into 4/1 favourite did their money. The jolly could only manage sixth but was arguably unlucky in running having to be switched when short of room. That could also be said of runner-up, Roger Fell’s 66/1 chance Eldrickjones who was hampered after being slowly away. All the hard luck stories aside Andrew Balding’s Berkshire Shadow came with a right old rattle to win going away under Oisin Murphy at 11/1.
Oted landed a bit of a gamble when winning the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes backed from 6/1 into 4/1 off the show. The gelding won pulling clear under Cieren Fallon who had the time to punch the air in victory. Punters who took a chance on runner-up and 28/1 chance Arecibo were probably on each-way but they might have been screaming at the TV watching ‘head waiter’ Jamie Spencer sitting under a double handful but with an awful lot to do two out. By the time he’d got going the winner had flown. Charlie Hills’ Battaash was the disappointment of the race, the punters evidently made him a banker betting him from 7/4 into 11/8 but was beaten a furlong out. The punter that had a reported £288,000 rolling on from a double with Palace Pier might have been a little more disappointed than most.
The last Group race of Tuesday boasted the most impressive winner of the day. Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare stormed home by an impressive four and a half lengths in the St James’s Palace Stakes under Kevin Manning. The colt was sent off the 7/2 favourite and gave backers very few moments of doubt travelling strongly and powering clear. The intrepid cash punter on course that had £20,000 on at 4/1 would have been making space in his pockets for the readies a long way out. That bet was dwarfed by reports of £85,000 and £80,000 laid of course, just to name a few.