While the final day of Royal Ascot may have been lit up by a Frankie Dettori treble, it will also be remembered as a coming of age for jockey Kevin Stott, who landed a memorable 94-1 double.
Stott, 25, who is attached to Kevin Ryan’s yard in Hambleton, North Yorkshire, had never ridden a winner at the meeting, yet within half an hour he had two on the board.
Before his double strike on Hello Youmzain in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Hey Jonesy in the ultra-competitive Wokingham Handicap, Stott may have been slightly better known as the partner of fellow jockey Megan Nicholls, daughter of leading National Hunt trainer, Paul.
Plenty will recognise his name now though, as riding a big-race double on a card that is beamed worldwide on TV will ensure his profile shoots skywards.
“This has been amazing, I can’t find the words. An hour ago I didn’t think this could happen and now I’m standing with two Royal Ascot winners and my first Group One as well – I’m speechless,” said Stott after winning the Wokingham.
Stott, a bit like William Buick, was born overseas and his family plied their trade in racing’s calmer waters.
He was also a talented footballer but was released by Tottenham Hotspur, who felt he was not big enough.
“I was born and raised in Denmark, my mum is Danish and my dad is English. I went to school over there,” he said.
“I’m glad Tottenham turned me down now!
“I said to my dad I wanted to ride horses when I was 16, so he brought me over here and within a week he dropped me off at Kevin Ryan’s. I’ve been in England nine years now.
“This is a dream come true. My family at home all used to ride in Scandinavia a lot and India, places like that. Both brothers are in the industry, one trains and the other rides.
“I haven’t had time to look at my phone yet, but I’m pretty sure it will be buzzing like mad. I can only thank the people who have said well done so far.”
Ryan was not present on course but his son and assistant Adam, said: “We knew Kevin when he first came across and he did his apprenticeship with us.
“He is an absolute credit to his family and gave Hello Youmzain a brilliant ride. I am delighted for him to have his first Group One winner for us.”
Stott was not on Hello Youmzain when the colt won last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup, but a change of ownership and James Doyle’s commitment to William Haggas’ One Master saw him back in the saddle.
He added: “Having been jocked off the horse last year for a higher-profile jockey, to then get the ride back, win a Group One and for him to go and do that for me is unbelievable. I can’t describe how thankful I am to get back on him. I’m blessed.”