Ladies Day is traditionally the day where the ladies where their finest outfits and this year was no exception as Ascot basked in glorious sunshine. All enclosures were sold out as the public lined the rails on the inside of The Heath for what was a top class days action.
The feature race of the week is run on Ladies Day and it is the Group 1 Gold Cup run over 2m4f.
2.30pm Norfolk Stakes
(Group 2 - 5f - Gd to Fm)
Richard Hannon held the key to this race with two high profile and no doubt expensive purchases in Log Out Island and the favourite King of Rooks, both of whom had slammed Coventry Stakes winner Buratino by five lengths on their latest outing.
Through the early part of the race they were one and two and it looked for most of the way as if the race was between them. Held Up off the pace though was Waterloo Bridge for the unstoppable combination of Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien and on the 200 anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo fate and coincidence punters were rewarded with a 12/1 winner as he powered through inside the final furlong to take the spoils by half a length and the same back to the duelling stablemates.
3.05pm Tercentenary Stakes
(Group 3 - 1m2f - Gd to Fm)
A competitve heat and the market was headed by the well backed and regally bred Time Test. By Dubawi out of Group 1 winner Passage of Time he is bred to be Group 1 class and on this performance it won't be long until he is seen at that level.
The field were taken along by Mustadeem, a big strong colt who had looked well on the way to the post, tracked by Peacock and Richard Hughes on his outside, with Time Test settled nicely for Frankie Dettori in the midfield.
Turning into the straight as the pace lifted Frankie angled to the outside as Peacock hit the front, only to see Time Test loom alongside on the bridle. In a matter of strides the race was over and Time Test once given the office quickened clear and drew right away inside the final furlong to cross the line 3 1/2 lengths to the good from Peacock who kept on under pressure and the long time leader Mustadeem back in third.
3.40pm Ribblesdale Stakes
(Group 2 - 1m4f - Gd to Fm)
The Ascot Oaks and the Irish were stronly represented by the Jim Bolger trained Pleascach and the David Wachman trained Coolmore runner Curvy.
Both had very strong form coming into the race with the main question seemingly being would Pleascach stay having won the Irish 1000 Guineas last time out over a mile.
There didnt seem alot of pace on early as a number of the runners were keen early as Entertainment took them along, but she appeared a reluctant leader. James Doyle kicked for home on her three out and by she was soon outpaced by the big two and they settled down to scrap it out. Pleascach tried hard but Curvy, who had beaten Derby fourth Giovani Cannelleto last time out held the trump stamina card as she denied her Irish counterpart by a length.
4.20pm GOLD CUP
(Group 1 - 2m4f - Gd to Fm)
The feature of the meeting and it didnt lack for excitement with any number of runners still holding chances inside the final furlong.
Passing the packed granstand for the first time the field were taken along by "Mr Ascot" Frankie Dettori on Forever Now. It wasnt the course record breaking pace he had set for The Sagaro Stakes earlier in the season but it appeared solid enough, although a handful of runners were still keen enough, including the favourtie Forgotten Rules who was nicely placed on the outside.
The order remained largely unchanged throughout the circuit of the course and turning in it was anyones race. Forgotten Rules hit the front passing the two pole but he didnt go clear like he had in the Stayers on Champions Day, and this time the closers were closing fast.
Graham Lee couldn't have believed his luck when the inside rail opened up for him, he had a charmed run and seized the opportunity punching and kicking along, he drove his willing partner through and this Chester Cup winner was not going to be denied.
Conversley Ryan Moore's fortunes were not quite as good as Maxime Guyon thwarted his challenge and by the time he got out on Kingfisher the bird had flown and Trip to paris had justified his sporting owners supplementary entry !!!
5.00pm Brittania Stakes
(Class 2 Handicap - 1m - Gd to Fm)
A cavalry charge for three yeear olds over the straight mile and again the far side was the place to be with three of the first four home being over there.
But when a race is tricky to solve Ryan Moore is the man to have on your side and he supplemented the win in the Royal Hunt Cup by taking the spoils on War Envoy.
A horse who has been running at Group level for his career he was dropped in Grade albeit under top weight, but he was still classy enough to run down the lightly weighted Udododontu to deny Jason Hart a Royal Ascot victory by a neck.
Held up out the back he had made his headway in the manner of a horse that was a class above and the winning margin didnt do the performance justice as he was always getting to the runner up, not to take anything away from the runner up who ran a blinder, War Envoy is simply class.
5.35pm King George V Stakes
(Class 2 Handicap - 1m4f - Gd to Fm)
Dissolution had run Time Test close on his previous start at Newbury and was sent off a short price favourite following Ryan moore cleaning up races like theyre going out of Royal Ascot fashion and the manner of his conquerors victory ealrier in the day.
He was however disappointing and despite not getting the clearests of passages he was no threat to the impressive winner.
Space Age had won at Newmarket on his previous start but the was a step up in class which he handled well. The son of New Approach had been keen in races and this was no exception, but William Buick kept him away from the others and found himself infront when he crossed over, from then he was nver headed and gave generously in the straight despite his pulling early. If he can learn to settle he can improve again.
So ended day three and the highlight had to be the classy Time Test, who simply dismantled his rivals to run out the most impressive winner of the day.