Royal Ascot 2018: Frankie Dettori rides treble on Without Parole, Calyx and Monarchs Glen

Frankie Dettori collects his trophy at Ascot from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Dettori was presented with the trophy by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after winning on Without Parole

Frankie Dettori rode an opening day Royal Ascot treble for trainer John Gosden led by victory in the St James's Palace Stakes on Without Parole.

The 9-4 favourite, a son of the legendary Frankel, saw off Gustav Klimt, with Wootton in third.

Dettori also triumphed with Calyx and Monarchs Glen.

Blue Point upset leading fancies Lady Aurelia and Battaash to claim the King's Stand Stakes for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team.

Dettori dominates - but gets a ban

The Italian-born Dettori was forced to dismiss speculation he might be about to retire earlier this month.

But the 47-year-old, whose lucrative retainer with the Qatar-based Al Shaqab Racing appears to be coming to an end, again demonstrated he was no spent force.

"It's an amazing day - three rides and three winners. I'm making up for last year," said Dettori who missed the 2017 meeting through injury.

Frankie Dettori after winning on Without Parole
Dettori performs a flying dismount after winning on Without Parole

There was a sting in the tail for the jockey, who was suspended for seven days and fined £4,300 for using his whip above the permitted level. Donnacha O'Brien, who rode runner-up Gustav Klimt, was given a two-day suspension.

Dettori took up the running on Without Parole to claim a fourth win from four starts after long-time leader US Navy Flag faded.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex presented the trophies to Dettori, Gosden and Without Parole's American owners John and Tanya Gunther.

Prince Harry and Meghan were the subject of much interest as they made their debut together at the Royal meeting.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Royal Ascot
Photographers were kept busy, taking pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Extra security was in place, including 20 sniffer dogs at entrances, after drink and drugs had been blamed for recent violence among racegoers at Ascot and Goodwood.

Gosden and Dettori's first win came in the Coventry Stakes, courtesy of a classy display from Calyx, a son of the 2014 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Kingman.

It was a 57th career victory at Royal Ascot for Dettori, the meeting's leading jockey among those currently riding, who stole a march on the nearside.

Bookmakers reacted by cutting Calyx's odds for the 2000 Guineas next year to about 8-1, from 16s.

Dettori completed the treble with 8-1 chance Monarchs Glen, another of Frankel's offspring, in the concluding Wolferton Stakes.

Blue Point
William Buick celebrates after victory on Blue Point at Ascot

The 6-1 shot Blue Point ran out a worthy winner of the King's Stand Stakes under William Buick, with Battaash second and outside Mabs Cross third.

Much of the talk beforehand had been about the clash between Lady Aurelia and Battaash, but it was Blue Point - under William Buick - who came out on top.

Victory continued the renaissance for Godolphin, and particularly trainer Charlie Appleby, who won the Derby at Epsom earlier this month with the Buick-ridden Masar.

The 33-1 outsider Accidental Agent caused a shock in the opening Queen Anne Stakes as trainer Eve Johnson-Houghton and jockey Charlie Bishop celebrated their first victory at Royal Ascot.

Johnson-Houghton, from a distinguished racing family, was left in tears by this landmark success.

"I thought I was tilting at windmills," said the trainer, whose mother Gaie bred the winning horse.

Her family bought the horse back for a discount price when it went unsold at auction for £8,000, and were picking up the lion's share of £367,000 in prize money for this success.

Eve Johnson-Houghton with Accidental Agent
Trainer Eve Johnson-Houghton was in tears after Accidental Agent's success

Willie Mullins, the champion Irish jumps trainer, landed another win at the big flat race meeting as Lagostovegas (10-1) won the Ascot Stakes from Dubawi Fifty.

Mullins, who was winning the race for the fourth time in seven years, also saddled the third, fourth and fifth (Stratum, Chelkar and Whiskey Sour).

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Not for the first time Frankie Dettori stole the Ascot show.

Images of the now third-most successful Royal Ascot jockey of all time - 59 wins, putting him behind only Lester Piggott and the late Pat Eddery - receiving his trophy from Harry and Meghan are likely to be amongst the most used of the many taken this week.

Without Parole, whose season started late because of a hiccup in training, remains unbeaten, and though the winning margin diminished through the closing stages Dettori was sure the colt was, as they say, getting 'lonely' in front, hence I suppose the whip ban though I didn't think it was the worst case ever.

Day two - More success for Dettori?

On Wednesday, Dettori rides the Gosden-trained Cracksman, who has been backed for the Prince of Wales's Stakes (16:20 BST) like victory is already in the bag, or indeed like one of the best horses in the world is taking on good quality but still inferior opposition.

Extraordinarily, for a period after an only narrow Coronation Cup win he was rated as big as 11-4, but it soon sunk in that it was the tricky contours of Epsom that nearly beat him there. Ascot will be a quite different proposition, so hence the long odds-on now.

If in the mood (not guaranteed) Hawkbill might give him a run.

Chelsea Cloisters is being nearly as well-touted as Cracksman to give US trainer Wesley Ward a fourth success in the Queen Mary Stakes (14:30), while in the Royal Hunt Cup (17:00) Settle For Bay arrives here on the back of a promising run - over shorter - back home in Ireland.

Wednesday schedule and racecards

14:30: Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 5f

15:05: Queen's Vase (Group 2) 1m 6f

15:40: Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) 1m

16:20: Prince of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) 1m 2f

17:00: Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) 1m

17:35: The Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 7f

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