Queen 'delighted' as horse rides to victory on second day of Royal Ascot

·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

The Queen is said to be delighted as her horse Tactical rode to victory on the second day of Royal Ascot.

Tactical, ridden by James Doyle and trained by Andrew Balding, had a length-and-a-quarter victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes on Wednesday afternoon.

Doyle said: “To ride a winner here for Her Majesty is what dreams are made of.

“It worked out perfectly. He jumped really well from the stalls and was a true professional – for a horse who had only run once before.

“He took it all in his stride, and it’s a testament to Andrew’s training.”

It’s the first winner for Her Majesty in four years and came after disappointment this morning, when her horse First Receiver, ridden by Frankie Dettori, was pipped to the post by Russian Emperor.

The Queen’s bloodstock adviser John Warren said: “I think everyone involved is absolutely thrilled – all of Her Majesty’s team, and obviously Andrew and his team.

“Throughout the conversations the Queen was saying how delighted she is to produce a two-year-old winner at Royal Ascot.”

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Tactical ridden by James Doyle enters the winners enclosure after victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes during Day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 17, 2020 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Megan Ridgwell/Pool via Getty Images)
Tactical ridden by James Doyle enters the winners enclosure after victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes. (Getty Images)

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Looking to future plans, Warren said: “It looks like he will stretch out in trip, so we’ll look at races like the Richmond at Goodwood and the Prix Robert Papin in France.”

He added: “It is obviously a great shame Her Majesty isn’t there to enjoy the buzz of having a runner, but she has studied every bit of it today, watching the races. It’s the icing on the cake to have a winner for her.

“I think the Queen, every day of her life, follows racing one way or another when she can. She will have read the Racing Post and known very well the important, fancied horses. She always dedicates half an hour or so to the information every day, so she’s very well tuned in and racing is her tremendous pleasure.

“The Queen doesn’t get frustrated lightly – she’s very pragmatic and takes everything in her stride. I suspect deep down there may have been a tinge of disappointment she wasn’t there, but that was completely overridden by having a winner and breeding it.

“I suspect she got a warm inner feeling from pulling this one off.”

Jockey James Doyle (C) wearing the Queen's silks riding Tactical wins The Windsor Castle Stakes on day two of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London, on June 17, 2020, which is taking place behind 'closed doors' due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALAN CROWHURST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Jockey James Doyle wearing the Queen's silks riding Tactical wins The Windsor Castle Stakes. (Getty Images)

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Trainer Balding said: “It’s obviously a great thrill for all of us to have a royal winner at the Royal meeting.

“On racedays we tend to give the Queen a ring in the morning and give her our thoughts. We did that this morning, so she was well informed.”

In normal years, the Queen would be at Royal Ascot to see her horses ride in person, but this year, she’s had to make do with the televised races.

There are no spectators allowed at this year’s event, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Instead she has access to a feed showing the parade ring, and will watch the races from home.

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and John Warren attend day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2019 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen with John Warren at Royal Ascot in 2019. (Getty Images)

The Queen is kept largely in isolation at Windsor Castle, but did watch a smaller version of the Trooping the Colour ceremony on 13 June, her official birthday.

The Queen is known to be a great horse lover, and still rides regularly despite being 94. She revealed her favourite horses in an approved interview with Horse and Hound earlier in June.

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