OLD pals Frankie Dettori and John Gosden combined to win the Ribblesdale with the exciting Frankly Darling.
The result gave the pair back-to-back wins in the Group 2 and leading trainer Gosden with a landmark 50th winner at the Royal meeting.
And in truth, the result was rarely in doubt.
The well-backed 11-8 favourite Frankly Darling was perfectly positioned in behind the pace-setting Golden Lips by Dettori.
She was angled into the clear on the home bend and put the race to bed in a matter of strides, with Aidan O'Brien pair Ennistymon and Passion keeping on well to fill the places.
The winner is now 4-1 for the Oaks at Epsom with Betfair, and that is almost certain to be her next port of call.
Dettori, who performed his trademark flying dismount, said: "I think (my dismount) was a six out of 10, to be honest! There's no crowd, but it's still a Royal Ascot winner, so I thought I might as well celebrate it in style.
"This filly has got some lungs, let me tell you – we were burning plenty of petrol during the first half of the race.
"She was over-racing a bit and I had to slow her down on the turn for home and she had every chance if she wanted to, but in fairness she picked up and galloped out really well.
"It's all systems go, I guess, for Epsom and the Oaks. If John and Mr (Anthony) Oppenheimer decide to go down that route, I'll be delighted. She's learnt a bit today and I'm very excited about her."
On getting to the half-century at the Royal meeting, Gosden said: "I'm 50 not out! I came to this meeting once and scrambled a winner and another year I had no winners. I remember having six seconds one year – it's not an easy place to win races.
"I think getting Royal Ascot on is a huge achievement. This country and many countries around the world have suffered horribly from this sinister (coronavirus) disease. It's been devastating what people have been going through, let alone the destruction of our economy and people losing jobs. It's a worldwide problem.
"To be able to come here in this very large amphitheatre, in the fresh air – it's very clean and everything is very tightly run.
"It's wonderful to be able to put on top-quality sport with the best races and racehorses you can find anywhere in Europe, and some from America. We have great athletes and great jockeys, so it's great the show is going on."
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