BEFORE the race, there was nothing that could touch him.
After it, one of the most hyped up bubbles in Royal Ascot history had been well and truly burst.
In one of the greatest duels in racing history, the largely unheralded Rewilding downed odds-on favourite So You Think in a battle that lasted the length of the Ascot home straight.
It was Frankie Dettori’s finest hour.
The Italian maestro watched Ryan Moore kick into a three length lead rounding the home turn, then produced his mount to chase him down at exactly the right time.
The crowd was stunned.
For weeks, So You Think had headed the list of bankers that would not get beaten. He’d moved from Australia and Bart Cummings to Aidan O’Brien two starts earlier, having won three Cox Plates as well as a smattering of other top races down under, and had not been beaten since a third in the Melbourne Cup.
Armed with an undentable reputation, with a following of fans adamant that he was the greatest ever to tread on the Berkshire turf, the superstar surely only had to line up to win.
But no. For the first time in his stellar career, he was beaten over his best distance. And by a Godolphin horse – Coolmore’s greatest rival.
But no-one could have said it was a fluke. There were no hard luck stories.
If there was to be an excuse, it might have been said that Ryan Moore committed the multiple Group 1 winner too early, giving Rewilding, who had superior staying power, the upper hand.
However, the more likely story is that the Godolphin horse was simply the better of the two on the day.