JOSEPHINE Gordon once again showed why she is Britain’s top female jockey by winning the feature race at Ascot on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

Last season’s champion apprentice produced a superb ride to land the Victoria Cup on Fastnet Tempest, trained by William Haggas.

Having finished a close-up third over a mile at Newbury last month, the four-year-old was well backed during the day for this seven-furlong charge and went off as the 5-1 market leader.

But, in a 24-runner field, the favourite backers were made to sweat before Gordon came with a perfectly-timed run to finish three-quarters of a length clear of George William, the mount of Sean Levey.

After landing the £65,362 prize, Gordon said: “I felt when I got to the furlong pole that I might have gone too soon, but he settled into a nice rhythm. He won very easily.”

The Richard Hannon-trained George William, who also finished behind Fastnet Tempest in the Spring Cup at Newbury, could return to Ascot next month for the Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting.

The first five races on Saturday were all won by Newmarket-trained runners.

Roger Varian sent out 9-4 favourite Appeared, (ridden by Andrea Atzeni) in the opener, David Simcock’s Desert Encounter (Sean Levey) won the listed Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes and David Elsworth took the fillies handicap with 11-1 shot Tisbutadream, ridden by seven-pound claimer David Egan.

Incidentally, Egan could not wait to collect his prize, as he had to dash off to Lingfield, where less than two hours later he finished second on Dealer’s Choice.

Following the success for Haggas, it was the turn of Charlie Appleby’s yard to become Newmarket’s fifth winner of the day when William Buick carried the Godolphin colours to victory aboard Aqabah in the five furlong novice stakes.

Buick also won Ascot’s final race of the day on 7-2 favourite Robero, sent down from north Yorkshire by Mick Easterby.

There was disappointment for those Royal Family watchers hoping Prince Charles and Camilla might turn up to see their Carntop run in the second race.

But the couple must have known something, as their four-year-old trained by Ralph Beckett finished last of the nine runners.

Jockey F.M. Berry reported the gelding had ran too freely.

Saturday’s card was the last at Ascot before the Royal meeting on June 20-24.

The Windsor and The Village enclosures for the Saturday are sold out, but £88 tickets remain for the Queen Anne Enclosure.

Ascot chairman Johnny Weatherby reported that tickets for all five days are selling fast.