They call it the sport of kings… but no monarch has shaped horse racing like the Queen

THEY call it the sport of kings, but no monarch has shaped horse racing like the queen.

Her Majesty lived and breathed the sport and was one of the most influential owners and breeders of modern times.

Queen Elizabeth II leads in her Oaks winner Carrozza with Lester Piggott in the saddle


Queen Elizabeth II leads in her Oaks winner Carrozza with Lester Piggott in the saddleCredit: PA
Her Majesty owned more than 1,000 winners in the apartment


Her Majesty owned more than 1,000 winners in the apartmentPhoto credit: Getty
The queen also liked to ride horses


The queen also liked to ride horsesCredit: PA

The sport has lost its greatest patron and most important patron.

For the past 70 years, horses born and raised at the Royal Stud in Sandringham have graced racecourses around the world.

She has had more than 1,000 flat winners and 70 jumps, and was crowned champion owner in 1954 and 1957.

A record of 24 winners at Royal Ascot over the decades makes her one of the most successful owners at the biggest gathering of the summer. It was fitting that in 2021 Her Majesty became the first to be inducted into the official British Racing Hall of Fame.

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The derby may have eluded her, but her closest to Epsom glory was at Aureole’s second, just four days after her 1953 coronation.

But the Queen celebrated five Classic victories from Pall Mall in the 1958 2,000 Guineas to Dunfermline, which lit up its Silver Jubilee year in 1977 by winning the Oaks and St Leger.

The sight of a royal bishop on a race card has always added a little spice to a tournament, and she’s had plenty of good ones during her reign.

It’s no exaggeration to say that their horses have been responsible for some of the greatest moments in racing history. From Dunfermline in the Oaks to Estimate in the Gold Cup, nothing got the blood pumping like a big win for The Queen.

She shared some of her best days with longtime ally Sir Michael Stoute, 76, who coached for her for five decades.

They embraced the ‘Holy Grail’ in 2011 when Carlton House finished an unlucky third in the Epsom Derby.

But they’ve had more good days than bad, including Estimate 2013’s memorable win at Royal Ascot, when she was famously caught by TV cameras partying.

Stoute said: “I found the training for the Queen to be pressure-free. It was because of their understanding, deep knowledge and thirst for more.

“She was one of the great owner breeders, the sport won’t be the same without her and it was an honor to train her horses.”

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There was no greater privilege for a jockey than to don the royal colours.

Willie Carson, 79, has won massive races around the world during his glittering career, but he believes winning the Oaks was his finest hour for The Queen.

Carson said: “Winning Silver Jubilee Week at Dunfermline was perhaps the best thing of my career as a driver.

“If you apply their colors, a jockey will grow six inches. You are just so much bigger and more important.

“It was an absolute privilege and a pleasure to drive for them.”

Her Majesty was never more relaxed than at the races, jockey Hayley Turner recalls.

Turner, 39, said: “She absolutely loved her racing. I got pretty lucky riding for her.

“I won a race for them one year at Newbury. The following season I won the same race for them again.

“We were back on the podium and she turned to me and said, ‘We’ve done this before, haven’t we?’

“I said, ‘Yes, ma’am, you should pay me an advance’! She looked at me and laughed.

“She was an amazing woman and it was every jockey’s dream to ride for her.”

Nicky Henderson coached his fair share of winners for The Queen and he has no doubt about the impact she’s had on the sport.

He said: “We’ve had a lot of fun over the years and she’s never been happier or more relaxed than around horses. She was so knowledgeable and her love of the sport radiated to the public.

“Just look at Royal Ascot, it’s one of the biggest sporting events and she’s helped grow it and make it so popular.

“She loved going to the races, but when she couldn’t go she would have the races taped and she would watch it at home.

“Sport was her great passion. It brought her a lot of joy, just as it brought us a lot of joy.” They call it the sport of kings… but no monarch has shaped horse racing like the Queen


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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