Dettori and Gosden take no prisoners with Royal Ascot treble

Pirate IRWIN
AFP
Formidable team of jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden recorded a treble on the first day of Royal Ascot including Without Parole in the St James's Palace Stakes where they received their trophies from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan (AFP Photo/Thomas Samson)

Formidable team of jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden recorded a treble on the first day of Royal Ascot including Without Parole in the St James's Palace Stakes where they received their trophies from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan

Formidable team of jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden recorded a treble on the first day of Royal Ascot including Without Parole in the St James's Palace Stakes where they received their trophies from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan (AFP Photo/Thomas Samson)

Ascot (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Favourite Without Parole landed the Group One St James's Palace Stakes the feature of a first day Royal Ascot treble for the formidable team of Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden.

For Dettori -- who received his trophy from newly married Royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan -- it was the perfect antidote to the disappointment of missing last year's meeting because of injury.

Dettori had to fight off a late challenge by Irish raider Gustav Klimt before punching the air in delight and then performing his trademark leap in the winners enclosure.

The exuberant 47-year-old Italian then exchanged pleasantries and a few laughs on the winners podium with Harry and Meghan, making their first appearance together at Royal Ascot.

"That race made a man of him," said Dettori of the winner.

"When I was clear with a furlong (200metres) to go I thought 'oh I am a sitting duck here'.

"But he answered every call of mine," added Dettori.

Without Parole's owner John Gunther has already enjoyed an unbelievable season having bred US Triple Crown champion Justify but this meant more to him than all those three wins.

"This is the most important day of my life I never dreamt I would ever have a good enough horse to run in Ascot," said the Canadian.

"My knees were shaking. My stomach has been in a washing machine for past six weeks.

"Ascot is the Olympic week of racing."

Gosden and Dettori -- who took their respective tallies to 46 and 59 winners at the meeting respectively when they landed the last with Monarchs Glen -- hadn't taken long to get off the mark as the impressive Calyx won the Group Two Coventry Stakes for two-year-olds.

Gosden said the winner was the type of horse "who makes you get up in the morning".

Dettori was equally fulsome in his assessment.

"He's pretty special. He is still green and a bit quirky but a real natural talent," said Dettori.

- 'Tilting at windmills' -

Godolphin's resurgence this season after some relatively fallow years -- firmly in the shadow of Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien -- continued with Blue Point getting the better of Battaash in the Group One sprint the King's Stand Stakes.

The victor was another big winner for trainer Charlie Appleby and Norway-born jockey William Buick -- the same combination that teamed up with Godolphin to land the Epsom Deby earlier this month with Masar.

However, Buick said there was no resting on their laurels.

"I am enjoying that (his 21st Royal Ascot win) but got to look forward and to the other horses running this week," he said.

There was a turn-up in the opening race the Group One Queen Anne Stakes -- named after the monarch who founded the meeting in 1711 -- as 33/1 outsider Accidental Agent stormed home to give trainer Eve Johnson Houghton her first ever winner at the racecourse.

"I thought I was tilting at windmills! Prepare the lifeboats because there are going to be an awful lot of tears!" gasped Johnson Houghton, whose mother Gaie owned and bred the winner.

"For it to happen to my Mum is incredible. He is named after my grandfather John Goldsmith (he wrote a book titled Accidental Agent) who was in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France in World War II," added Johnson Houghton, whose late father Fulke trained 10 Royal Ascot winners.

Jockey Charlie Bishop gave the winner a terrific ride delivering the decisive challenge inside the final 200 metres and give him both his first ever winner at the meeting and his maiden Group One to boot.

"Hopefully there are a lot more to come I never dreamt I would come this far," said the Englishman.

What to Read Next