ONE of the Queen’s most trusted trainers believes her legacy in horse racing will continue for many years to come.
Clive Cox was still on the phone with Her Majesty the week of her death.
He revealed the Queen’s love for the sport was never-ending, and she was destined to have home-bred horses that would run long into the future – and hopefully win.
Queen Elizabeth II recently began breeding National Hunt horses at the Royal Stud in Sandringham.
The show jumpers won’t have their first race until 2027, but after that they could run for five or six more years.
And on her last calls to Cox, the monarch even checked on horses in his care that still had to walk.
The Queen found time to speak to Cox before and after her last-ever runner, Love Affairs, won at Goodwood on Tuesday before her death two days later.
Cox said: “She was brilliant for racing and we will all be forever grateful to her.
“She knew everything there was to know, from breeding to form.”
From Balmoral, Her Majesty Cox telephoned the day before her filly raced at Sussex Racecourse.
These calls were never of much use to the Queen as she usually knew more about her horses than the trainer.
This was an owner you couldn’t put off.
But the calls were often the highlight of her day, and she always found time to make them in her hectic schedule.
The one before Goodwood lasted about half an hour. Cox added: “I spoke to her on the phone for quite a while before Love Affairs came on.
“She also asked about a couple of other horses that I train for her that haven’t even raced yet. Not many owners do that!
“She has always been very hot and last week was no different. You wouldn’t have known she was unwell.”
Jockey Adam Kirby, in her famous purple and red colours, rode Love Affairs to victory in the Fillies Nursery Handicap while the Queen watched on TV.
After the triumph, Cox first attempted to contact Her Majesty but learned that she was busy with the Prime Minister.
But even the historic occasion of saying goodbye to a prime minister in Boris Johnson and welcoming another in Liz Truss couldn’t stop them.
The Queen soon returned the call. Cox said: “It’s very surreal when you speak to Her Majesty.
“It was a great honor when we were asked to train horses for them. John Warren came up to me and asked what I thought.
“The call later after the horse won wasn’t that long but I’ll appreciate it. You can only admire her privately and professionally.
“She was a rider through and through and that always came through.
“She presented us with a trophy at Royal Ascot, but I never thought I’d be training horses for Her Majesty.”
The Queen had well over 40 horses in training at the time of her death and this is believed to be the most she has ever had.
They’re spread across trainers across the country, across hills and on the plain. Arguably no one outside of the Royal Family or their trusted team of staff had a greater friendship with Her Majesty than her racing adviser, John Warren.
After his death in 2001 he succeeded his father-in-law, Lord Carnarvon.
Warren was famously pictured alongside the Queen as Estimate stormed to a historic Gold Cup win at Royal Ascot in 2013.
He was a trusted and close friend of Her Majesty and spent his last day with her on Monday before she died at Balmoral.
Warren, who was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order this year, said: “We sat for hours over the weekend strategizing and making plans for the future.
“And the best thing for me is knowing that she was surrounded by her family members. She was in such a healthy state of mind and in great shape. It’s very important to know that she was absolutely wonderfully turned on.
“On Tuesday night she was in really good shape, delighted to have a winner and talking about the comings and goings of Prime Ministers.
“I can hardly believe that the Queen died in less than 48 hours.”
Estimate’s Ascot triumph was a clear highlight of the Queen’s winners, of whom she has had more than 1,000 over the years.
But Warren also revealed that the 1974 Prix de Diane victory was also one of Her Majesty’s most celebrated victories.
He added: “The Queen was definitely excited and emotionally charged to have some other winners, particularly at Ascot.
“But this one was so satisfying because it’s such a legendary race. Still, Estimate’s win will always be remembered by most people.
“She practically galloped from the King’s Box to the Victor’s Pen!
“And in typical equestrian style, although everyone offered their congratulations to the Queen, the Queen was absolutely steadfast in getting to Estimate herself and giving her a wonderful and well-deserved slap.”
“It was a very touching thing to see the queen just focused on this creature that had delivered for her.
“She had a really big tear in both her eyes, which was a wonderful thing.
“It is wonderful to know that she has lived a long and fulfilling life. Maybe the racing community helped give her some joy along the way.”
The sport of kings will never be the same without Her Majesty the Queen.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6258553/queen-horse-racing-clive-cox-royal-ascot/ Queen’s legacy in horse racing will live on for many years to come, says her trusted trainer as the nation bids its final farewell