Royal Ascot Report- Saturday 22nd June

By Peter Moore at Royal Ascot Saturday 22nd June 2024

The final day of Royal Ascot once again saw the sun shine down on a sold out crowd of over 69,000 on yet another day of compelling racing.

The opening race of the afternoon the Chesham Stakes went to the Aidan O’Brien trained Bedtime Story under Ryan Moore to give O’Brien his seventh win in the race.

The two-year-old filly produced a dazzling performance in front of the King and Queen. The daughter of Frankel won on her debut at Leopardstown in impressive fashion, but nobody expected what unfolded during the race with the filly producing a devastating turn of foot to put daylight between the rest of the field to bolt home by nine and a half lengths.

The race was all but over after the two furlong pole as Bedtime Story turned on the style under Moore, who had little to do, to win in imposing style.

Immediately bookmakers made her 3-1 for next years 1,000 Guineas ahead of her stablemate Fairy Godmother who was demoted to second favourite for next year’s classic.

Jockey Callum Shepherd claimed the biggest win of his career after steering Isle Of Jura to victory in the Hardwicke Stakes and registered his first ever win at Royal Ascot.

The four-year-old was bringing up his fifth win in a row including four in Bahrain. The same powerful finish that saw him land the Listed Festival Stakes at Goodwood last month, this time pushed him three and three quarters length clear of the French raider Goliath.

Newmarket trainer George Scott was saddling his first winner at the meeting. “The finish was a moment I’ll never forget,” the trainer said. “Everything stopped for a minute and I could enjoy the last half-furlong. Most best-laid plans go to pot, but this has been a long-term plan and this was the obvious race for him.

“He’s improved all the time and has been a pleasure to train. He’s just kept improving physically — he’s the most ginormous horse. He’s a beautiful mover and a lot of hard work has gone into him at home.

The feature race of the day the Queen Elizabeth 11Jubilee Stakes went to the Charlie Hills trained Khaadem with Oisin Murphy aboard to give the Irishman his fourth winner at the Royal meeting.

The eight year old who won this race 12 months ago at the odds of 80-1. Today he went to post at 14-1. Murphy gave the gelding the perfect ride and when he pushed the button the horse responded to win by half a length from Swingalong.

Wathnan Racing’s spending spree certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed, but it already looks to be reaping rewards with Haatem taking the Jersey Stakes in a titanic battle with Kikkuli.

Winner of the Craven Stakes and placed in both the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish equivalent, the three-year-old was dropping down in trip and conceding weight to his 18 rivals.

Haatem’s victory pleased his trainer Richard Hannon. “He’s one of my favourites and if ever a horse deserved to win it was him,” Hannon said. “He cost 27,000gns and we couldn’t sell him as a yearling, he was the last one we sold, just like it was with Canford Cliffs and he turns to gold. 

“Our yard is an eat-in, not a takeaway, and it’s good that these owners come in and keep the horses in the yard. For all the people here today, the people watching, horses like him are an incentive to get involved in the game.”

Unequal Love defied a bad draw to score for Willam Haggas under Tom Marquand to take the Wokingham Stakes.

The likeable four-year-old filly held off the late challenge of Dark Trooper to win by half a length.

The 12-1 shot was returning to handicap company following her most recent outing in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes, where she finished fifth behind Mitbaahy at the Curragh last month.