If you love racing, all your attention has been glued to what is happening at Royal Ascot, and the team at Punt Drunk is no different!
An adopted Aussies gave King Charles his first winner at Royal Ascot, the Aussies fumbled the bag in the King’s Stand Stakes, whilst we are chips in on Artorius ahead of his run in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on Sunday morning (AEST).
Throw in the fact we have Group 1 action at Eagle Farm on Saturday and plenty of opportunities to find a winner or three around Australia.
‘Aussie’ Tom Marquand puts the Royal in Royal Ascot
Ol’ mate King Charles isn’t as big of a racing fan as his mum Queen Elizabeth II, but he picked up his first Royal Ascot winner as the Monarch thanks to ‘Aussie’ Tom Marquand.
The adopted Aussie, lifted the William Haggas-trained Desert Hero to victory in a dramatic finish to the King George V Stakes.
"The King's horse has got up!"
— Racing.com (@Racing) June 22, 2023
Marquand has provided many an Aussie punter with memorable victories, including recently when guiding Dubai Honour to victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes when putting a space on Anamoe.
Now Charles may not be a big punter on face value, nor his better half Camilla, but we dare say the scones and tea were flowing at Buckingham Palace on Thursday night, following Desert Hero’s victory.
Coolangatta and Cannonball fail in King’s Stand Stakes
In the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, Australian horses Coolangatta and Cannonball faced a tough defeat on Wednesday morning. Unlike Nature Strip, who had a dominant performance over the 1000m straight a year ago, Coolangatta and Cannonball fell far behind and were outshone by the victorious Bradsell.
Coolangatta, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, and ridden by James McDonald, finished in 11th place, trailing by 6.5 lengths. Cannonball, trained by Peter & Paul Snowden and ridden by Brett Prebble, fared even worse, ending up 17th and a distant 11 lengths away.
Coolangatta started well and positioned among the leading contenders along the inside part of the track, while Cannonball chose to stay wide along with just two other horses.
However, both horses struggled when the competition intensified, and they quickly came under pressure. Ultimately, it was Bradsell, ridden by Hollie Doyle, who emerged victorious.
Cannonball is set for a shot at redemption in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on Sunday morning, whilst Coolangatta will return home for an assault on the Melbourne/Sydney Spring Carnivals.
Artorius the one to beat
Artorius, the remarkable horse that struck gold in the 2021 Blue Diamond Stakes, swiftly transforming the lives of his ownership group within just 16 races, is poised to conclude his racing journey with a grand finale in the prestigious Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot early on Sunday morning.
Regardless of the outcome, this four-year-old horse owes his owners nothing, as he has taken them on an extraordinary adventure since his acquisition at the 2020 Magic Millions Sales. Initially, Sam Freedman and his father Anthony had identified Artorius, the son of the first-season sire Flying Artie, and included him in their catalog, but on that fateful January day at the Gold Coast auditorium, they, like everyone else, let him pass through the auction without meeting his $120,000 reserve price.
Fortunately, Anthony felt compelled to revisit the yearling colt for a second inspection, a decision that proved fateful.
Now a fully developed racehorse, Artorius will embark on his 17th and final race of his short yet thrilling career at Royal Ascot. With three victories already under his belt (including the Group 1 triumph in the 2021 Blue Diamond as a two-year-old and the 2023 Canterbury Stakes as a four-year-old), he has amassed an impressive $2.1 million in earnings for his owners.
He is a $4.80 favourite with online bookmakers and all of Australia will be behind him!
What a way to sign off, clinching victory at the last hurdle, much like a certain cricket side did at Edgbaston this week 😉
About Punt Drunk
Welcome to Punt Drunk – our daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…