Royal Ascot 2017: Barney Roy, Ribchester and Sound And Silence in Godolphin treble

Jockey James Doyle celebrates at Ascot
Jockey James Doyle celebrates after winning on Barney Roy

Barney Roy won the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as Godolphin celebrated an opening-day treble.

The 5-2 winner, ridden by James Doyle for trainer Richard Hannon, triumphed as favourite Churchill finished fourth.

That was the day's second win for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team, after Ribchester took the Queen Anne Stakes, with Sound And Silence successful in the concluding Windsor Castle Stakes.

Meanwhile, filly Lady Aurelia landed the King's Stand Stakes.

Barney Roy was runner-up in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May to Churchill, who went on to win the Irish version.

But Hannon's colt proved the better of the two this time, winning by a length, with stablemate Thunder Snow in third as the Aidan O'Brien-trained Churchill finished out of the places.

Doyle put his finger to his lips as he passed the winning post - with victory doubly pleasant as it came weeks after Saeed bin Suroor, another Godolphin trainer, had complained of having the jockey imposed on him.

The internal strife at Godolphin, which saw chief executive John Ferguson depart, was a memory and the jockey said: "It's been an up-and-down season and when I knew I'd got the ride on this fellow, I was pretty excited."

On a sweltering day with temperatures reaching 30C, Royal Ascot did not enforce its dress code in the Royal Enclosure, letting racegoers remove jackets for the first time in the event's history.

Ribchester wins as records broken

Ribchester wins the Queen Anne Stakes
William Buick, pictured after winning in Ribchester, enjoyed an opening day double

Favourite Ribchester, ridden by William Buick for trainer Richard Fahey, got the Godolphin ball rolling.

The 11-10 chance won in a course record for the straight mile - 40 years to the day since Sheikh Mohammed celebrated his first winner as an owner.

Ribchester won by a length-and-a-quarter from Mutakayvef, with Deauville in third.

"He has to be the best horse I have ever trained," Fahey said. "He broke the track record here today and that's not being disrespectful to the others, but he is just exceptional."

Michelle Payne, the only female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, was fifth of the 16 runners on 66-1 outsider Kaspersky as the rider made her Ascot debut.

Rajasinghe (11-1) set another course record, when winning the Coventry Stakes for two-year-old horses.

Jockey Stevie Donohoe, riding for trainer Richard Spencer, got the best of a photo finish from runner-up Headway.

Lady is a champ

Lady Aurelia
Lady Aurelia won at Ascot under John Velazquez, who replaced Frankie Dettori

Lady Aurelia ran out a dominant Royal Ascot winner for the second year running.

The 7-2 shot, who won the Queen Mary Stakes last year, landed the King's Stand Stakes this time by three lengths from Profitable for American trainer Wesley Ward.

Winning jockey John Velazquez had few worries as he stepped in for Frankie Dettori who was ruled out of the meeting earluer in the day with an injured shoulder.

Ward said: "Lady Aurelia is very special. To win like this, to duplicate what she did last year - a once-in-a-lifetime horse."


BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Barney Roy's win meant a lot to all concerned. There was a nagging feeling that he had never really had the chance to show his true metal in the 2,000 Guineas, but today he proved what he is worth.

Richard Hannon insisted such a dramatic turning of tables on Churchill, well beaten in fourth, didn't feel so much like revenge as putting the record straight.

But that defeat had clearly been niggling James Doyle whose celebration was, by his feet-on-the-ground standards, quite extravagant. This was only Barney Roy's fourth run: better still can be expected in the future.

Lady Aurelia blew away her rivals in spectacular style to show herself the "world-class sprinter" Wesley Ward told BBC Sport that she was in the run-up.

Ironically, her time was 0.01 seconds outside the course record, so was the only one of the major races not to break the clock. But this was a three-length win, so what would have happened if she had been pressed?

You had to feel for Frankie Dettori. OK, he has won many Royal Ascot races, but being ruled out of such a plum ride on the morning of the race must be galling.

The Queen observed a minute's silence
The Queen joined racegoers in observing a minute's silence before racing as a mark for respect for victims of the recent terror attacks and Grenfell Tower fire

Mullins and Moore strike again

Thomas Hobson, the 4-1 favourite trained by Willie Mullins, won the Ascot Stakes under a cool ride from Ryan Moore.

Mullins is more associated with jump than flat racing but took this race with Moore for the third time in six years, and said afterwards that he would aim the Rich Ricci-owned winner at the Melbourne Cup in November.

Godolphin rounded off a memorable day with a 1-2 in the final race as Sound And Silence beat stablemate Roussel.

It was a second winner of the day for Buick and a first for trainer Charlie Appleby.

"The horses have been in great nick all year and they've had a great preparation," said Buick.

Coming up on Wednesday

The Queen will travel straight from giving the Queen's Speech and the State Opening of Parliament to attend the second day of racing at Ascot.

Highland Reel heads the runners in Wednesday's feature race, the Prince of Wales's Stakes (16:20 BST).

The five-year-old, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore for trainer Aidan O'Brien, bids to follow up his triumph in the Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this month.

Highland Reel renews rivalry with Jack Hobbs, having finished last behind the John Gosden runner in unsuitably rain-softened conditions in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.

Josephine Gordon will bid to become only the second female jockey to ride a winner at the Royal Ascot meeting.

Gay Kelleway, now a trainer herself, triumphed on Sprowston Boy in the Queen Alexandra Stakes 30 years ago.

Gordon, last season's champion apprentice rider, will be on Dream Castle for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor in the opening Jersey Stakes (14:30 BST).


Commentary of first four races on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. All times BST

14:30: Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 7f

15:05: Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 5f

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

16:20: Prince of Wales's Stakes 1 1/4 m

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

17:35: Sandringham Stakes 1m

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