By News Team
15th June 2020
Nobody has had more Royal Ascot winners than legendary trainer Sir Michael Stoute, but would it be fair to say that he still dominates Royal Ascot?
The rise of Ballydoyle handler Aidan O’Brien has not gone unnoticed, while John Gosden has muscled in on a lot of the big prizes recently.
To understand a bit more about that power shift in recent years, we’ve mapped out all Royal Ascot wins by trainer since the year 2000…
Challengers arise by 2005
Royal Ascot’s all-time top trainer Sir Michael Stoute kicked off the millennium with three winners, edging him to the top of the table, though wins for the likes of Gosden and O’Brien signalled a clear warning that the competition was hot.
After 2005, Mark Johnston was the Royal meeting’s joint-top handler with 18 wins, tied with Stoute, while Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor and O’Brien were the two other trainers to head into double figures after the first five years of the noughties.
Stoute’s lead slimmer by close of the decade
By 2010, O’Brien had doubled his tally in the space of five years and jumped to 28 wins, just one behind the great Stoute, with many memorable wins including four Gold Cups for Yeats between 2006-2009.
William Haggas was a new name amongst the top 10 trainers with six wins, the sixth of those being Approve in the 2005 Norfolk Stakes.
Ballydoyle bag top spot in 2011
O’Brien finally surpassed Stoute in the new millennium standings with four wins in 2011 while Sir Michael drew his first blank at the meeting since 1995!
Mind the gap by 2017
Ballydoyle’s all-powerful operation continued to send home the winners at Royal Ascot and by 2017 had opened up a gap of 17 wins to Sir Michael in second.
A massive 20 wins from 2011-2017 helped Gosden leapfrog bin Suroor into fourth place, while two wins for American trainer Wesley Ward saw him jump into ninth and become the only trainer outside of the UK & Ireland in the top 10.
20 clear heading into 2020
As we approach this year’s Royal meeting, O’Brien (67) has now trained 20 more winners since the turn of the millennium than his nearest pursuer, Stoute (47).
Though Sir Michael still sits atop of the all-time standings, it’s clear that Ballydoyle have been very much the dominant force over the last 20 years.
There’s also a new name in the top 10 standings ahead of this year – Charlie Appleby.
Now handling many of Godolphin’s top horses, Appleby has trained six winners in the last four years and has several nice chances again this time around.