The Queen has had an enduring passion for horse racing during her 70 years on the throne – as an owner and a breeder. As Her Majesty celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, Keith Hamer selects five of the very best horses to have carried the royal silks:
Almost gave Her Majesty a fairytale victory in the Derby in Coronation year of 1953 when he was second to Pinza. Trained by Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, he was also fifth in the 2000 Guineas and third in the St Leger. He went on to be the best older horse in Europe in 1954 with victories in the Coronation Cup, Hardwicke Stakes and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Also trained by Boyd-Rochfort, he took the 1958 2000 Guineas to be the first Classic winner bred by Her Majesty. He justified the decision to keep him in training as a four-year-old by enhancing his reputation with victory in the Lockinge Stakes.
Trainer Dick Hern got Highclere ready to win the 1000 Guineas on her seasonal debut in heart-stopping fashion by a short head from Polygamy, who went on to lift the Oaks. Highclere bypassed Epsom for the French Oaks (Prix de Diane) and is the only horse to win both races. She was also second to Dahlia in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
This filly made the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year of 1977 extra special with victory in not one Classic, but two. She won the Oaks despite suffering interference in running and then went on to Doncaster for the St Leger where she inflicted the only defeat on Alleged. She was also a creditable fourth behind that horse in the Arc.
Estimate gave the Queen her greatest Royal Ascot moment when fending off the late charge of Simenon to lift the 2013 Gold Cup, with the two-and-a-half-mile contest very much the jewel in the crown at the Berkshire track. Estimate had won the Queen’s Vase the previous year but she could not defend her title in 2014, finishing second but eventually being disqualified for a failed drugs test.