Obstinate Usher Irritates Stevens at Ascot

Jockey Gary Stevens may have been named to a "50 Most Beautiful People" list recently and displayed his considerable riding skill in Friday's Coronation Stakes. But as far a gateman at Royal Ascot's grandstand balcony was concerned, he's just another cheeky American.

According to the Racing Post, Stevens, whose nifty manuever aboard Fantasize enabled stablemate Russian Rhythm to win the Coronation, was twice denied access to the balcony Saturday after falling into disfavor with an unsympathetic usher. The second encounter came as he was headed for a television interview, leaving him fuming.

But Ascot chief executive Douglas Erskine-Crum and racing official Nick Cheyne reportedly came to Steven's rescue and the rider/actor soon regained his cool and moved on to do his interview. The gateman was quickly moved to a new post.