Royal Ascot: Blue Point stars, Circus Maximus stuns big two in St James's Palace Stakes

Ryan Moore and Danny Tudhope both ride doubles on action-packed first day

Blue Point masters Battaash for the second year running at Royal Ascot
Image: Blue Point masters Battaash for the second year running at Royal Ascot

Blue Point saw off old foe Battaash to successfully defend his crown in the King's Stand Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot.

Charlie Appleby's Blue Point mowed down the free-going Battaash to emerge victorious last season, but 12 months on the boot was on the other foot - with Battaash restrained by Jim Crowley in the hope of coming up with a late run.

Fresh from winning three times in Dubai earlier in the year, 5-2 chance Blue Point was the first of the big two to commit for home under James Doyle and while 2-1 favourite Battaash came at him late, Appleby's charge was a length and a quarter to the good at the line.

A clearly emotional Appleby said: "He's one of the old warriors in the yard now and everyone at home has done a fantastic job with this horse."

Moore magic from O'Brien

Circus Maximus dropped back down to a mile to win the St James's Palace Stakes under a determined Ryan Moore drive.

Sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom on his latest outing, the son of Galileo was a surprise supplementary entry for this race last week - dropping half a mile in distance.

Fitted with blinkers for the first time, the 10-1 winner hit the front racing inside the final two furlongs and was all out to deny the fast-finishing King Of Comedy by a neck.

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Circus Maximus and Ryan Moore win the St James's Palace Stakes
Image: Circus Maximus and Ryan Moore win the St James's Palace Stakes

On cloud nine!

Arizona came home strongly to give O'Brien a ninth success in the Coventry Stakes.

Sent off the 15-8 favourite on the back of an impressive eight-length win at the Curragh, his supporters will have been a little worried early on.

Outpaced, Ryan Moore was riding him pretty vigorously from halfway, but the fine stamp of a two-year-old began to eat up the ground inside the final furlong.


Lord Glitters caused a minor upset in the Queen Anne Stakes. Despite having finished a close-up second in last year's renewal, David O'Meara's grey was a 14-1 shot for the traditional curtain-raiser to the week in the hands of Danny Tudhope.

It was a profitable day for Tudhope's followers as he bagged a Royal Ascot double with The Grand Visir powering clear in the Ascot Stakes. Run in poor conditions, the son of Frankel saw off a late surge from Buildmeupbuttercup to give trainer Ian Williams his first Royal Ascot winner.

Watch and follow Royal Ascot with Sky Sports

Every race is live on Sky Sports Racing - all the action starts on Tuesday, June 18.

Sky Sports subscribers will also be able watch via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.

Non-subscribers can watch all the action through NOW TV. A Sky Sportsday pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.

Also, you can follow all the action across our digital platforms with a daily live blog and tipping piece that produced a 16/1 winner on day one.

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