Royal Ascot 2018 attracts 300,000 visitors and bumper TV audience

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Royal Ascot.

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:

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ROYAL Ascot 2018 attracted 300,000 visitors alongside a bumper TV audience with all of the meeting’s 30 races covered live on ITV.

The attendance delighted Ascot representatives after an enthralling week was played out in predominately sunny weather – and where Coolmore secured a clean sweep by winning the leading trainer, jockey and owner awards.

“We’ve had a fantastic week,” Ascot Chief Executive Guy Henderson said.

“Aidan O’Brien (QIPCO Royal Ascot Leading Trainer Award), Ryan Moore (QIPCO Royal Ascot Leading Jockey Award) and Coolmore (Royal Ascot Leading Owner) had to fight hard for their awards this year, but were very worthy winners in the end.

“We’ve seen some tremendous racing with standout performances from the likes of Stradivarius as well as Alpha Centauri and a real spread of success across countries and connections.

“A truly international Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes went the way of Aidan O’Brien and Ireland with the ex-Australian-trained Merchant Navy winning and a great run from the American-trained Bound For Nowhere in third.

“We have seen sectional timing in place for the first time, for which we thank our official partner Longines and earlier today, we launched Ascot World Pool, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Totepool.

“Over 300,000 people visited the racecourse and the viewers at home have been treated to an exemplary five days of uninterrupted coverage of all 30 races on ITV.

“I’d like to thank everybody that brings this event together – owners, trainers, stable staff, our own staff, partners and everyone who works so hard on site to bring the event to life.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back for Royal Ascot 2019.”

Moore won the Royal Ascot Top Jockey award for the eighth time in nine years after riding a double on Saturday to boost his tally for the meeting to five winners. Moore secured a short head victory on the Aidan O’Brian-trained Merchant Navy in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.

“It was great to end the week with Merchant Navy winning today. That was an important race for an important horse,” said Moore who has now ridden 53 Royal Ascot winners.

“He has done well to come from the other side of the world and beat horses from all over the place again. So I was very happy with him and he would be the highlight of the week for me.

“Sir Michael has had a great week – he had four winners and a couple of good ones. Crystal Ocean is an improving horse and he’s got better and better.

“To get to 50 winners at Royal Ascot this week was great.”

O’Brien added: “Merchant Navy is a great horse. He was at a big weight disadvantage today but it was great for him to win and we couldn’t be happier really.

“We had plenty of races that we didn’t win, but we were privileged and delighted to win a few.

“It’s competitive racing at Royal Ascot. No matter what race you run a horse in, it is always tough to win and very competitive, but that’s what makes it special.

“Don’t be under any illusions, this is very tough racing.”

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.

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