Khaadem, considered a longshot at 80-1 odds before the start of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, emerged as the surprising champion at Royal Ascot.
Under the skillful guidance of jockey Jamie Spencer, Khaadem secured a historic triumph, becoming the highest-priced winner ever in this prestigious race.
In a thrilling finish, Khaadem edged out Sacred (9-1) at the wire, while the favored Highfield Princess (11-4) settled for a respectable third place.
Frankie Dettori, concluding his final appearance at Royal Ascot, competed in five races but was unable to add to his remarkable record of 81 victories.
Reflecting on his career as he approached retirement, the 52-year-old remarked, “It’s been quite a journey. Thirty-five years. I’ve cherished every moment. Today, I was so caught up in the action that I didn’t have much time to ponder. There was a tinge of sadness, but overall, I’ve had an incredible run.”
Walking into the weighing room, Dettori confessed he felt rejuvenated, stating, “I felt like a 16-year-old again. This place has been incredibly fortunate for me. Perhaps it’s better that I didn’t win my last race, as I might have been overwhelmed by the commotion.”
Although Dettori couldn’t end his Royal Ascot career with a victory on Saturday, he achieved four triumphs throughout the week, notably clinching the Gold Cup on Thursday with Courage Mon Ami (15-2). Additionally, he claimed the Queen’s Vase on Wednesday and two more wins on Friday.
Lester Piggott, with 116 wins, remains the most successful jockey in the history of Royal Ascot, while Dettori firmly holds the second position.
Khaadem’s Astonishing Upset in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes
Trained by Charlie Hills, Khaadem displayed a strong start and accelerated through the field, surpassing all expectations.
Highfield Princess exhibited a commanding presence throughout the race, yet Spencer demonstrated remarkable patience. In the final furlong, Khaadem surged ahead, leaving the other contenders in his wake and securing a remarkable victory.
This triumph marked Spencer’s second remarkable longshot win of the week, having guided Witch Hunter (50-1) to success on Thursday.
Struggling to find words to express his gratitude towards owners Jim and Fitri Hay, who have been close friends for a long time, Spencer said, “Their support means the world to me. Even my children are watching now, and in previous years, they were too young to comprehend the significance. It’s heartwarming to receive messages saying, ‘Well done.'”
Hills, the trainer, always had faith in the seven-year-old Khaadem, remarking, “Despite his idiosyncrasies, which most sprinters possess, I have always believed in him. It’s truly remarkable that we’ve reached this point with him at his age. I was determined to run him over six furlongs here. Last year, he won the Group Two race over five furlongs at Goodwood in the King George Qatar Stakes. Removing the blinkers and treating him as a top-class horse paid off. Jamie was the perfect jockey for him. With this horse, anything is possible.”
Other Highlights from Royal Ascot
PJ McDonald celebrated his first-ever victory at Royal Ascot, riding Pyledriver (7-2) to triumph in the Hardwicke Stakes. However, a stewards’ review was required due to Pyledriver’s erratic movement as he surged ahead, with no impact on his victory.
Gary Carroll steered Snellen (12-1) to a narrow win over favorite Pearls and Rubies (7-4), trained by Aidan O’Brien, in the Chesham Stakes. In an unexpected turn, Golden Mind (10/1) and outsider Oddyssey (125/1) finished in a dead heat for third place.
Age of Kings (22-1) delivered another surprise victory for trainer Aidan O’Brien in the Jersey Stakes, making it O’Brien’s fourth win of the week and matching John and Thady Gosden’s record.
Hollie Doyle and Archie Watson, the formidable jockey-trainer duo, achieved their third success of the week in the Wokingham Stakes Handicap with Saint Lawrence (22-1).
The Golden Gates Stakes Handicap marked Dettori’s final race at Royal Ascot, but Burdett Road (20-1) stole the spotlight, leaving co-favorites Lion of War and Local Dynasty (9-2) in his wake.
Aidan O’Brien’s week ended on a somber note, as Canute suffered a fatal injury, fracturing a hind leg during a race.
The Queen Alexandra Stakes concluded Royal Ascot 2023, with Dawn Rising (2-1) emerging as the sole favorite to claim victory on the final day. Leading jockey Ryan Moore rode Dawn Rising, trained by Joseph O’Brien, securing his 78th win at Royal Ascot.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about underdog
Q: Who won the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot?
A: Khaadem, an 80-1 outsider, claimed a shocking victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Q: What were the odds for Khaadem before the race?
A: Khaadem was priced at 80-1 prior to the start of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.
Q: How did Frankie Dettori perform in his final appearance at Royal Ascot?
A: Frankie Dettori, in his last appearance at Royal Ascot, competed in five races but could not secure a win to add to his career tally of 81 victories. However, he achieved four triumphs throughout the week, including winning the Gold Cup.
Q: Who is the most successful jockey in Royal Ascot history?
A: Lester Piggott holds the record for the most wins in Royal Ascot history with 116 victories.
Q: How did Khaadem win the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes?
A: Khaadem, trained by Charlie Hills, started well and powered through the field, ultimately overtaking the leaders in the final furlong to secure the victory.
Q: How many wins did PJ McDonald and Gary Carroll achieve at Royal Ascot?
A: PJ McDonald secured his first-ever victory at Royal Ascot riding Pyledriver, while Gary Carroll rode Snellen to a narrow win in another race.
Q: How did the week end for trainer Aidan O’Brien?
A: Aidan O’Brien had a successful week, achieving multiple wins, including one with Age of Kings in the Jersey Stakes. However, it ended on a sad note as one of his horses, Canute, suffered a fatal injury.
Q: Who was the leading jockey of the week at Royal Ascot?
A: Ryan Moore emerged as the leading jockey of the week at Royal Ascot, with a total of 78 wins.