The boys in blue were firmly in the driving seat on the first day of Royal Ascot, with Barney Roy downing a disappointing Churchill in the feature race, the St James’s Palace Stakes.

A race which looked a match beforehand between Churchill and his Guineas adversary Barney Roy, turned out to be anything but.

Lancaster Bomber initially took the eight-strong field along but conceded the lead to Rivet after a few furlongs.

James Doyle had Barney Roy held up in fifth with warm favourite Churchill tracking him in the next position.

Swinging into the straight, Lancaster Bomber regained the lead into the final two furlongs but was chased hard by Thunder Snow and Barney Roy who made a bid to the outside.

There was little between the three half-a-furlong from home but the white cap of Barney Roy gradually got on top to win going away by a length. Churchill could only muster a underwhelming fourth.

“It’s been and up-and-down season but when I knew I got the ride on this fella I was pretty excited,” said Doyle.

“He felt good at Newbury, things didn’t go our way in the Guineas but he’s just proved what a tough horse he is.”

A son of Excelebration, Richard Hannon’s charge was a length behind Churchill in the 2,000 Guineas and prior to that on just his second racecourse appearance was an emphatic winner of the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

He gives his sire, who it may be remembered was a bridesmaid on a number of occasions to the mighty Frankel, a first success at Group 1 level.

Hannon said: “I thought he was off the bridle a little bit early but we’ve got a lot of confidence in this horse.

“He’s our horse and we think he’s a good horse and all we wanted to do is prove that. I don’t think he really got that chance in the Guineas.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Ribchester gave Godolphin the first leg of a treble when landing the opening Queen Anne Stakes over the straight mile.

Rated the best miler in Europe, the son of Iffraaj was positioned off a blistering pace under William Buick.

We’ve got a lot of confidence in this horse

He came through with a big effort over a furlong out to lead and although wavering around inside the final furlong kept on nicely to register a third Group 1 success by just under two lengths.

Lady Aurelia put up another sparkling performance for trainer Welsey Ward when running away with the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes.

With John Velazquez replacing an injured Frankie Dettori aboard the three-year-old filly, she quickened to lead over a furlong out and darted clear to beat runner-up and last year’s winner Profitable by three-lengths.