Godolphin scored their first winner at this year's Royal Ascot yesterday when the filly, Flying Cloud, showed her heels to the rest of the field in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes. The day started well for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who was given a seat in Her Majesty the Queen's carriage for the traditional Royal Parade. A few hours later, he found himself in the winner's enclosure after Frankie Dettori gave the filly, on her Godolphin debut yesterday, an excellent ride to cross the line ahead of Flame of Gibraltar and Uvinza.
Nestling in third for most of the challenge, Flying Cloud, who won both her starts in France for former trainer Andre Fabre, accelerated away from her rivals, inspiring a famous flying dismount from the flamboyant Italian. "It couldn't have gone better," said a smiling Dettori afterwards, whose triumph sees him join Mick Kinane with 41 Royal Ascot winners. "For the first two days I was getting tremendous stick from most of colleagues because I hadn't had a winner yet. Even my driver was having a go, but she did everything right. The Darley Irish Oaks could be next for her now."