Kyprios gave trainer Aidan O'Brien a record extending eighth Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday but it was three-time winner Stradivarius who received the biggest round of applause after finishing a gallant third on his final appearance at the meeting.
Indeed the eight-year-old Stradivarius had been applauded by the crowd prior to Frankie Dettori climbing on board and then as he passed the stands after the race had got underway.
However, it was not enough to propel him to a record-equalling fourth victory in the meeting's most historic race as Dettori had to come so wide he lost valuable ground.
Dettori hailed Stradivarius as a "hero" but said he would not have won, although the horse's trainer John Gosden appeared perplexed by the Italian superstar's tactics.
"I was surprised he had dropped back so far in the field," said Gosden.
"He is a great horse and wonderful to have got him here for five Gold Cup runs. I just wish we had been closer to the pace setters."
For Stradivarius this was his final chance of equalling the O'Brien-trained Yeats's record (2006-09) as he will retire later this season.
Dettori had been shadowed and penned in on the rails by Kyprios's rider Ryan Moore throughout the race.
"He ran good but I had nowhere to go and had to go to the outside," said Dettori.
"He has been a good hero, he has been magnificent for racing and a brilliant horse. He just got beat today, he tried and went down fighting."
Dettori looked a good deal happier than winning jockey Moore.
"It was not the nicest race to ride in," said Moore, who was winning the race for a third time.
"This was not a true test and I don't think you saw the best of him."
It proved to be a deeply frustrating day for 51-year-old Dettori on a course where some of his most memorable riding exploits have come.
Twice he donned Queen Elizabeth II's racing colours following the Gold Cup -- the British monarch was watching on television from Windsor Castle -- only to find one too good on both occasions.
Moore denied him in the Britannia Stakes but the most disappointing outcome was when the Queen's odds-on favourite Reach for the Moon had to give second best to Claymore in the Hampton Court Stakes.
Earlier, Magical Lagoon had given O'Brien's fellow Irish trainer Jessica Harrington her third Royal Ascot winner as "she dug deep" in her handler's words to get the better of Sea Silk Road in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
Magical Lagoon's rider Shane 'Dusty' Foley' punched the air in delight as he crossed the line at last tasting success at the meeting.
"I have been coming here for some time and I have been knocking on the door for a while," he said.
"I said to my wife this might be the week that I finally got the winner. Jessie Harrington what a trainer, what a woman!"
The opener the Group Two Norfolk Stakes produced the biggest priced winner in the race's history as Paul Hanagan guided The Ridler home at 50/1.
Leigh Bradley, son of the owner Steve Bradley, burst into tears as he crossed the finishing line and was still crying as the stewards held an enquiry to see whether The Ridler had cost another horse the race.
They decided that was not the case so Hanagan and trainer Richard Fahey were able to celebrate winning the race for a second successive year.
This one though was bittersweet as Fahey recently ended Hanagan's spell as his stable jockey -- he retained the ride on The Ridler due to the wishes of his owner.
Bradley explained why he had spelt his star's name differently to Batman's enemy.
"Weatherbys (who authorise names of horses) were worried about the copyright -– they didn't want to take on whoever owns Marvel Comics these days and they got a sweat on about that," he said.
"I think Marvel Comics have got more money than I have!"