ASCOT racegoers on Saturday were left shocked after a big-race winner sustained a fatal injury in front of the packed stands, writes Dave Wright.

Beat The Bank, trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, produced a storming finish to win the Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile for the second year running, the 2/1 favourite getting his nose down to deny Sir Michael Stoute's Zaaki on the line.

However, the five-year-old was in trouble and De Sousa quickly jumped off.

Beat The Bank, owned by King Power Racing, eventually left the track in a horse ambulance and when assessed by the track's vets he was found to have suffered a complicated fracture.

Confirming the sad news, Ascot's clerk of the course, Chris Stickels said: "The horse has had to be put to sleep. He suffered a complicated fracture of his lower near-hind limb and it was irreparable sadly.

"We made him comfortable in the stables, he was x-rayed and the prognosis was such that he couldn't be saved. It was a great performance, but a very sad end to the race."

Balding tweeted: "He was such a brave horse and everyone at Kingsclere and King Power are heartbroken. We will remember him forever."

Champion jockey De Sousa said: "He was a special horse and they absolutely adored him at Andrew's yard. He was one of the chairman's favourite horses and was his first Group winner. It's just so sad."

Beat The Bank won nine of his 18 races, including five at Group Two level, and earned more than £600,000 in prize-money for King Power, the brainchild of late Leicester City FC chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash last year.

The tragedy at Ascot marred a tremendous Saturday for the owners, as their Pivoine won the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York, while Mystery Power landed the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

Ascot's other opening race, the Betfred Heritage Handicap, was won by the Clive Cox-trained Tis Marvellous, who had finished second in the Wokingham Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Adam Kirby pushed the 9/2 favourite into the lead a furlong from home and passed the post two-and-a-half lengths clear of the runner-up Open Wide (12/1).

Mark Johnston, the Yorkshire trainer in red-hot form, won the Ruddy Novice Auction Stakes with Kingbrook (7/4 fav) ridden by Joe Fanning. while the Trant Engineering Fillies' Handicap went to 7/2 chance Ummalnar, with Tom Marquand riding for William Haggas.

Saroog, the 9/4 fav, got home by a neck in the hands of Aussie Kerrin McEvoy to win the Fresh Air Helicopters Handicap from Busy Street (14/1).

Charles Molson was first past the post in the Gl Events UK Handicap, but caused interference in the process and was disqualified and placed second, with Breanski (11/4 fav) awarded the race.