There was a major surprise at the Duke of Cambridge Stakes when Amazing Maria raced ahead of more fancied opponents to win by a very respectable two lengths.
At 25-1, the four-year-old was by no means the favourite for the mile long race open to fillies and mares older than four years.
She has been running fairly well in the races leading up to the Royal Ascot, but without any big wins was never fancied to win this Group 2 race either.
The race was expected to go Rizeena’s way, and she did indeed put on a very good performance, but it was clearly Amazing Maria’s day and Rizeena only finished second.
She had a slow start, but picked up speed in the last two furlongs of the race to romp home the winner.
The loss will be particularly hard for Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum who owns Rizeena.
The Irish-bred bay filly had previously won the Queen Mary and Coronation Stakes and a win here would have nicely rounded out her achievements.
The five-year-old French-trained, Cladocera finished third in the extremely exciting race.
There were many expectations also riding on Integral to win the Duke of Cambridge Stakes back to back, but the five-year-old trained by Sir Michael Stoute, and 8-11 the favourite to win the race, was obviously not up to the challenge.
Incidentally, the field was narrowed when Evita Peron was pulled out and Euro Charline was disqualified for not going into the starting stalls
Amazing Maria is a very talented horse, but she hasn’t really been performing up to her potential.
She was earlier trained by Ed Dunlop, but she had a very lacklustre season with him last year.
However, she was transferred by owner, Sir David Ogden to a new trainer, David O’Meara from the beginning of this season and this seems to have made all the difference in her performance.
The Irish combination of O’Meara and jockey, James Doyle has definitely worked well in this case.
Danny Tudhope is Amazing Maria’s regular rider, but he was replaced just before the race on account of an injury.
This win has highlighted David O’Meara’s status as one of the best trainers in Britain and the North Yorkshire-based trainer can expect to get a lot more premier horses to train.
This is the second time he has won at the Royal Ascot, after last year’s win at the Buckingham Palace Stakes with Louis The Pious.
In other notable performances at Ascot, American filly, Acapulco won the Queen Mary Stakes.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Ryan Moore, she was the 5-2 favourite to win the race, racing ahead of strong contenders like Easton Angel, Bruised Orange and Besharah.
Ryan Moore also rode Gm Hopkins, the John Gosden-trained gelding, to victory in the Royal Hunt Cup ahead of Temptress and Chil the Kite.
The Jersey Stakes was won by Dutch Connection, trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Joe Crowley.
Osaila helped Frankie Dettori win yet another race at Royal Ascot by coming ahead of all others in the Sandringham Handicap.