Queen’s horses appear on racecourse for first time since her death

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The Queen’s horse Educator appeared on Sunday morning (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen’s horse Educator appeared on Sunday morning (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Two of the Queen’s horses have appeared on a racecourse for the first time since her death, with their riders dressed in the royal silks.

The late monarch was a prolific owner and breeder and even discussed “her love for her horses right to the very end”, according to her racing adviser.

Organisers of Newmarket’s Henry Cecil Open Weekend arranged for horses Saga and Educator to appear in front of crowds of racegoers on Warren Hill on Sunday morning.

Their jockeys Robert Havlin and Michael Hills were both dressed in the royal colours: purple with gold braid, scarlet sleeves, black velvet cap with gold fringe.

Her horse Saga was also ridden at the racecourse (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Her horse Saga was also ridden at the racecourse (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Trainer Charlie Fellowes, chairman of the Henry Cecil Open Weekend, said: “The Queen was a huge supporter of British racing and we felt it was important to show Newmarket’s appreciation for the enormous contribution she made to our industry.

“It was wonderful for everyone to see two of her horses with riders dressed in her famous silks at a place she loved visiting whenever she could.”

During her life, the Queen would watch if one of her horses was running, sometimes jumping up and down in excitement.

When her horse was first to cross the line, she was ecstatic.

Jockeys riding the Queen’s horses wore royal colours (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Jockeys riding the Queen’s horses wore royal colours (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen’s first winner as monarch was Choir Boy in the Wilburton Handicap at Newmarket on May 13 1952.

In 1954, the Queen’s horses, including Aureole, were so successful that she was the leading winner-owner.

She repeated the triumph in 1957.

The late monarch had won every classic except the Derby, coming closest in her coronation year of 1953 when Aureole was second, while her horse Carlton House came third in 2011.

In 2008, she had her first Ascot winner for nine years, crying “I’ve done it”, when her horse Free Agent won the Chesham Stakes.

In 2013, the Queen’s horse Estimate claimed victory in Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup, the first time in the race’s 207-year history that it had been won by a reigning monarch.

The Queen after her horse Estimate won the Gold Cup (Tim Ireland/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen after her horse Estimate won the Gold Cup (Tim Ireland/PA) (PA Wire)

A delighted Queen clapped her hands in excitement and beamed as she watched the race alongside her racing manager, John Warren.

Mr Warren said he spent the weekend before the Queen died in Scotland, discussing her horses, as they had done so many times before.