Royal Champion proved aptly named in giving jockey Jack Mitchell his first Royal Ascot winner, as he stayed on nicely to take the Listed Wolferton Stakes.
From an awkward draw in stall 12, Roger Varian’s charge had to come three wide throughout in the 10-furlong contest, but he was always travelling well.
Mitchell got to the front a little sooner than he may have wanted, yet he had plenty to spare aboard Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s five-year-old, who was giving the owner a notable 577-1 double on the day, following Triple Time’s 33-1 success in the opening Queen Anne Stakes.
Though Bolshoi Ballet showed plenty of determination, Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien were denied a treble, setting for the runner-up spot, while 3-1 favourite Buckaroo stayed on well to finish third.
Though Frankie Dettori loomed large on the inside on Saga approaching the three-furlong pole, there was to be no royal winner, as he failed to find a gap on the rail when they quickened up and the partnership finished fifth behind the 16-1 winner.
Varian said: “It’s nice to get one on the board the first day and great to have one for Sheikh Obaid, who is a big supporter.
“He’s a bit in and out this horse, but I always knew he had a big one in him. Good to soft ground is his ideal conditions, any quicker or much softer and he doesn’t seem to want to know. I’m delighted for Jack, he’s a huge part of our team.”
Mitchell said: “That’s my first Royal Ascot winner and I seem to have been coming here a long time!
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t thank Sheikh Mohammed Obaid and Roger Varian enough for keeping me on this horse. He’s delivered and given me a great day.”