Royal Ascot lived up to its name Thursday, as carriages brought the royal family to the racecourse and Royal Rebel won the Gold Cup.

Royal Ascot lived up to its name Thursday, as carriages brought the royal family to the racecourse and Royal Rebel won the Gold Cup.

Trevor Jones

Royal Rebel Repeats in Ascot Gold Cup

Back-to-back winner of the Ascot Gold Cup (Eng-I). That title now belongs to Royal Rebel just as such past heroes as Drum Taps, LeMoss, and Ardross.

A 6-year-old gelding, Royal Rebel took his second consecutive Gold Cup Thursday at Royal Ascot, running the 20 furlongs in 4:25.64. Owned by British Horseracing Board chairman Peter Savill, he is trained by Mark Johnston and was ridden by Johnny Murtagh. Royal Rebel had not won a race since last year's Gold Cup.

"It's just fantastic. I've said for quite a while not to discount him because the horse has been physically very well," Johnston said. "You'd have to say it was a different Royal Rebel today--probably the best we've seen him in many years really. It's the first time I've seen the horse switched on in a while and I knew if he could go well for the first four furlongs he would take a lot of beating at the end of two and a half miles."

Vinnie Roe ran second and Wareed finishe third. Jockey Frankie Dettori was handed a four-day suspension for excess use of the whip on third-placed Wareed.

A field of 15 contested the endurance race at 2 1/2 miles. Yet after that lengthy distance, Royal Rebel prevailed by only a neck. He was headed inside the furlong pole, the in an all-out drive, fought back to earn the victory.

Royal Rebel is by Robellino out of the Riverman mare Greenvera.