Royal Ascot is one of the great events in the annual calendar and this year it didn’t disappoint, writes Jason Fildes of Highclere

At Royal Ascot, Highclere enjoyed a wonderful week of racing, delicious picnics and sweltering heat offset by ice cold Tattinger – it was a fabulous, few days and very sociable!

Tuesday saw two ‘certainties’ Baaeed and Coroebus winning the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and St James Palace Stakes, respectively. William Haggas reported unbeaten Baaeed was on target to follow the Frankel route and head to York for the Juddmonte International on 17th August. What a thrill it will be to see him up here in the North in what is regularly regarded as the world’s highest rated horse race.

Talking of which, the Aussies had a big win on day one at Ascot with Chris Waller’s Nature Strip, the world’s highest-rated sprinter comprehensively beating his rivals in the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes.

On Wednesday, my favourite two-year-old filly in training, Dramatised, won the Queen Mary Stakes for Middleham’s Karl Burke. She’s still improving and must be followed for the rest of the season!

Highclere’s Atrium and Harrow both ran in the Britannia Handicap on Thursday. They provided great excitement for a large number of owners, but unfortunately failed to get into the frame in a large field.

The Gold Cup was Thursday’s highlight – the late Lester Piggott won 10 Ascot Gold Cups and he also rode a record 116 winners at Royal Ascot. The last eight-year-old to win the cup was Yeats – it was his fourth crown and Stradivarius just failed in his bid to replicate him as Kyprios, probably the best-bred horse at the whole meeting, stayed on strongly to take the feature race in a thrilling finish. 

Friday promised much for Highclere with three runners. We had well over 100 people – owners, their friends and family – to a pre-racing picnic in the owners and trainers car park. What a start to the day and very fortunate that we have a close relationship with Tattinger as we went through a few magnums!

Lysander, in the King Edward VII and One Thousand Guineas winner Cachet, in the Coronation Stakes, contested headline races, while Believing tried to follow up her Newmarket win in the ultra-competitive Albany Stakes.

As it turned out, she reared up in the stalls and had to be withdrawn – a disappointing start to say the least. Cachet ran another brave race to finish fifth behind impressive winner Inspiral, but we were all delighted with Lysander’s third. He’ll go on to Goodwood next.

The week was happily finished off for Highclere by Rawyaan winning at Goodwood on Friday evening. He has now won three of his six races and is giving his owners a lot of fun – and success!

A big, big week for Highclere then, as it was for the whole of British racing. Royal Ascot’s races are captivating – often winning odds – so rewarding for professionals and irregular punters alike. The Tote World Pool enabled punters in 21 countries to bet on all 35 races, with the pool reaching new levels. The Placepot on Saturday paid £79,125 to a £1 stake for picking a horse to be placed in every race – what a finish to a fabulous week!

Highclere – Jason Fildes
01200 444622
07721 311778



Tedd Walmsley

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