The Queen, the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch and a huge supporter of racing, has died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The news will prompt mourning across the world. Prime ministers and governments have come and gone, but Her Majesty has been the one constant since coming to the throne in 1952, a shining beacon of strength and grace.
Her passion for the sport of racing will always be remembered, and The Queen was a hugely influential racehorse owner and breeder. One that sticks out for us is Estimate. A brave and dependable horse, she won the Queen’s Vase as a three-year-old in 2012 before going on to make history and win The Queen a famous victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot the following year.
Her Majesty’s first runner as an owner came way back in 1949, and that was the Willie Smyth-trained Astrakhan who finished second at Ascot. She wouldn’t have to wait long for her first victory which came at Fontwell three days later. Trainer Peter Cazalet provided the win with Monaveen and Tony Grantham was doing the steering.
The Queen’s best horses included Aureole, second in the 1953 Derby, and Dunfermline, winner of the Oaks and St Leger in 1977, her silver jubilee year.
The Clive Cox-trained Love Affairs will forever be remembered as her last winner, scoring at Goodwood on Tuesday, September 6.
The death of Her Majesty will leave a huge hole not only in British life, but in racing, a sport to which she added immeasurable prestige and lustre.