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To win at Royal Ascot just once with a horse is a big achievement, but to do it twice or more is truly something special. Unless they are geldings, Flat thoroughbreds don’t generally stay in training as often as their counterparts over jumps, so that is a factor in why it’s so rare.
All of these fabulous racehorses are multiple Royal Ascot winners, and well worth celebrating for their exploits at the Berkshire track. These equine stars have turned up and delivered at the royal meeting more than once.
The empathic way in which Stradivarius completed his Gold Cup hat-trick suggests he is as good if not better than ever. Trained by John Gosden for owner Bjorn Nielsen, this six-year-old horse by Sea The Stars has now won at Royal Ascot in four consecutive years.
First scoring the Group 2 Queen’s Vase over a mile and three quarters in 2017, Stradivarius has made the Gold Cup his own in subsequent. The two and a half miles staying feature of Royal Ascot is the elite test of Flat stamina and he previously only ever did enough to win.
Not this year, though, as Stradivarius bolted up by 10 lengths. Only the mighty Yeats, also a four-time Royal Ascot winner, has enjoyed more Gold Cup success, so hopefully, Gosden and Nielsen will bring Stradivarius back again in 2021.
Powerful global owners Godolphin achieved something even rarer than multiple Royal Ascot wins for a horse in its career with Blue Point. In 2019, he won two races at the same meeting completing the sprint double of King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
That took Blue Point’s Royal Ascot tally to three as he also won the King’s Stand in 2018. Now retired to stud after spending his career in training with Charlie Appleby, old rival Battaash paid Blue Point the ultimate compliment by winning that race this year.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is very familiar with Royal Ascot success and his most recent multiple winner at the meeting is the miler Circus Maximus. Breeders Flaxman Stables retain part-ownership of this four-year-old with chief Ballydoyle backers Magnier, Smith and Tabor.
Circus Maximus tends to prevail by fine margins. After scoring by a neck on the round course in the St James’s Palace Stakes in 2019, the four-year-old Galileo colt was back at the royal meeting for the Queen Anne Stakes.
He got up on the line over the straight mile, recording one of the narrowest Royal Ascot winning results at the meeting this year when prevailing by a head. Circus Maximus emulated the likes of Frankel and Canford Cliffs in winning the two Group 1 races at a mile run at Royal Ascot.
Sir Michael Stoute has a reputation for getting horses to develop better the longer that he trains them. Crystal Ocean was a typical example of this, landing the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half aged four in 2018.
Another son of Sea The Stars, he was back at Royal Ascot 12 months later for a deserved Group 1 victory down in trip for Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Victory there saw him beat O’Brien mare Magical and subsequent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Waldgeist.