The morning view from Sasha's 'office' - right above the finish Sasha Thorbek-Hooper takes time off from her day-job at Greatwood to broadcast from Royal Ascot for BBC Radio Berkshire:
As day one of Royal Ascot 2015 draws to a close, we realise sadly that the Sole Power dream has come to an end. A third consecutive win in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes was dashed by the 20-1 outsider Goldream trained in Newmarket by Robert Cowell and partnered to success by the ecstatic Martin Harley - the jockey's first ever Royal Ascot win.
No so subtle - but from the look of the lady on her right she might be wearing trainersFrankie's 50th Ascot winner is within a hair's breadth, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see if he is able to treat his adoring and waiting public with another of his legendary 'Frankie Flying Dismounts'.
The stand out horse of the day was the magnificent Gleneagles - adding the Group 1 feature race St James's Palace Stakes to his already impressive booty - including the Irish and English 2000 Guineas.
BBC Radio Berkshire Sports Editor Tim Dellor gets a word with Damian LewisAs expected a plethora of celebrities swept through the gates including Ant & Dec and 'A Lister' Damian Lewis.
But as ever it was the Queen who stole the show looking stunning in a fuchsia dress coat over a white and floral dress.
The weather looks set fair for the rest of the week and we will be hoping for some Wiltshire success - the Hannon/Hughes combo are pretty buoyant about their runner tomorrow: Ivawood running in the opener - The Jersey Stakes - against the Queen's Ring of Truth.
My best tip for the day is to swap the heels for flats!
Don't look now Dec, but there's lady behind you in flats!
Sam Hoskins Sam Hoskins is racing manager of the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds syndicate. Here he shares with Marlborough News Online his ‘Five to Follow’ for Royal Ascot - a horse for each day of this prestigious meeting (June 16-20) which this year has attracted a truly international entry. As ever, watch what the coming rain might do to their chances:
MAKE BELIEVE, St James’ Palace Stakes (Group 1), Tuesday. 4-1.
The St James’ Palace Stakes promises to be one of the races of the meeting with the dual Guineas-winning Gleneagles taking on the Andre Fabre pair of Territories, who was second to the former in the English 1,000 Guineas, and Make Believe, who won the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamps a week later. With Gleneagles having had two hard races, I am inclined to side with Make Believe who was so impressive at Longchamps and who would not be running unless his masterful trainer thought he would go very close indeed.
CANNOCK CHASE, Prince Of Wales’ Stakes (Group 1), Wednesday. 12-1.
Cannock Chase goes into Royal Ascot this year as almost a slightly forgotten horse, but I still haven’t quite erased the memory of his superb Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3) win over this trip at this same meeting last year. He has had two relative warm-up runs in unsuitable conditions and they will have put him bang on for this whilst making him an interesting each-way betting proposition at the same time. He could very easily go an easier route than this but Sir Michael Stoute clearly thinks he is up to ruffling the feathers of the likes of market leaders Free Eagle and The Grey Gatsby.
FORGOTTEN RULES, Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1), Thursday, 11-4.
The Ascot Gold Cup is hotting up well with many eventualities possible in advance of this centrepiece race of the whole meeting. The most fascinating variable to consider for this race is that of the ground because if ever the ground ended up on the soft side of good, then it would heavily favour the Dermot Weld-trained Forgotten Rules, who is unbeaten in four starts including a Punchestown bumper on his debut last spring (!) and the Marco Botti-trained mudlark Tac De Boistron. Whilst the likes of Mizzou and Vent De Force represent the improving four-year-old generation form, I can’t help but think they will have their work cut out to beat Forgotten Rules, who has the world at his feet and will be very hard to beat as long as the ground is no faster than good.
ERVEDYA, Coronation Stakes (Group 1), Friday, 7-2.
Ever since the Aga Khan’s Aliysa was disqualified in the 1989 Epsom Oaks, his distinguished green colours with the red epaulettes have become a rarity on British racecourses. However, when they do turn up, they invariably go very close and I suspect this will be the case for his superstar three-year-old filly Ervedya, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget in Pau. She was scintillating in the French 1,000 Guineas last month and I think she can reverse Marcel Boussac form with the likely favourite Found.
POSTPONED, Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2), Saturday, 4-1.
Trainer Luca Cumani has a strong hand at Royal Ascot this year and I suspect he will hit the target at least twice - one of whom could be Postponed (don’t ask me who the other will be though!) Postponed was highly progressive at three-years-old last year and has run two decent races so far this term - coming third in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh last time behind the wonderful Al Kazeem over 10 furlongs which is shorter than ideal. He steps up to 12 furlongs here and with his newfound positive tactics, he might just lead them a merry dance and finish off a good week for his smooth Italian handler.
Our Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds (KVT) syndicates are represented on Thursday at Royal Ascot with MAXWELL in the King George V Handicap for Andover-based Ralph Beckett. Maxwelll has won his two starts to date including an impressive victory at Salisbury last time.
He promises to be suited by the step up in trip in the King George V handicap and whilst the form of his Salisbury race hasn’t worked out great, he could give us something to shout about granted a good draw and some luck in running!
One of our other stars, TULLIUS, bypasses Ascot for a tilt at the Coral Eclipse (Group 1) on Saturday, July 4 at Sandown. However, he needs some softer ground to increase his chances..
Bonita stables - as shown on the Windsor Clive International websitePeter Makin's Bonita training yard at Ogbourne Maizey is up for sale following the trainer's decision to retire in November. He has been training for 48 years and has trained 780 winners - he is 71.
Bonita racehorse training centre has some of the finest gallops in the country - 154 private acres of them. With 54 boxes in two yards, two houses, two flats, a cottage, a staff hostel and 45 acres of paddocks, the agents are asking for offers "in the region of £3,000,000".
Explaining his decision to the Racing Post, Makin said: "I still love being with the horses on top of the downs every morning, but I find driving to the likes of Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Lingfield too tiring these days, which, at the age of 71, is probably something I must accept."
He added: "The time is right for me now. I feel privileged to have been involved in the sport for such a time. If I don't retire this season I'd be tempted to make it 50 years, by which time I'll be 73."
Makin sent out many winners of group races and high class handicaps from Bonita including the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot twice, the Stewards Cup at Goodwood and the Magnet Cup at York.
Bonita was set up by George Edwardes, the theatrical impresario in the 1890s. Former trainers there include the Hartigan brothers, Sir Gordon Richards and the leading national hunt trainer Bob Turnell who used the gallops and facilities to train many winners including the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Bonita has been owned by only two families in the last 120 years.
One of Makin's most successful horses was Elbio who won Ascot's King's Stand Stakes twice - and Makin thinks Elbio would have made it a hat-trick if there had not been interference during that third race.
Full details of the sale can be found on the Windsor Clive International website.
AP McCoy (photo by Niels Van Gijn - courtesy JCB Champions Challenge)Twenty times champion jump jockey AP McCoy is set to make a return to the saddle at this year's St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials in the JCB Champions Challenge on Saturday, July 11.
McCoy retired from race riding in April following an extraordinary record-breaking career with 20 consecutive jump jockey titles and over 4,300 winners. The 'Champ' will be joined by a trio of jump jockeys in the second running of the JCB Champions Challenge, a unique horse race between the country's top riders held in aid of Injured Jockeys Fund.
The race will feature jump jockeys versus event riders over a specially designed course - including a water jump. The winning junior and senior teams from the Inter Hunt Scurry, held on the same day with over 30 teams taking part, will form the other two teams.
Joining AP McCoy will be Sam Twiston-Davies, at 22 one of the brightest of the new generation of young jump jockeys, Richard Johnson, who is the second-most successful jockey in jumps history with over 2000 winners, and Wayne Hutchinson, stable jockey to Barbury trainer Alan King.
The eventers boast an awesome line-up: Andrew Nicholson, who has won the Barbury International three star and Burghley horse trials three times in a row with his grey Avebury, will lead the team.
He will be joined by fellow New Zealander, Sir Mark Todd, and two of Britain's finest riders Harry Meade, who finished second at last year's Badminton Horse Trials, and multiple Olympic medallist Tina Cook. Nicholson last raced for the Injured Jockeys Fund at this year's Cheltenham Festival.
Nigel Bunter, Chairman of the Barbury International Horse Trials expects a 'nail biting' contest: "Last year the jump jockeys were victorious in the inaugural running of this John Francome and Zara Phillips battle it out at Barbury in 2014's inaugural JCB Champions Challenge at the St James's Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials (photo by Trevor Meeks - courtesy JCB Champions Challenge)event and with the some of the greatest names in horseracing and eventing taking part and it's also very exciting we will be welcoming AP McCoy to Barbury."
"The eventers will be hungry for a win. We are delighted to host the Champions Challenge again together with JCB and supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund. May the best team win!"
Tickets for the Barbury International Horse Trials start from £12 per person per day booked in advance. Children under 12 years go free.
For information and tickets visit the Barbury website or call 01672 516125.
And keep checking @Barburycastle #championschallenge