Horse racing is a passion of the Royal Family, in particular, The Queen. So there is really no one better to learn first hand of the ins and outs of placing a bet at Ascot.
Actor Damian Lewis figured this out and did just that when he met Her Majesty at Windsor Castle at an event to celebrate the Prince’s Trust’s 40th anniversary.
He said: “She gave me a tip for Royal Ascot and it came with a royal seal,
“It was enough for a weekly shop.”
Lewis and his wife, actress Helen McCrory, who are both Prince’s Trust ambassadors, joked around with Queen Elizabeth about her advice during a tour of a trust centre with Prince Charles. Lewis told The Queen: “You gave me a simply fantastic tip for Royal Ascot for which I am grateful.”
The name of the horse tipped to be the winner in 2013 slipped Lewis’s memory but there is a good chance it could have been Estimate, The Queen’s own horse who won the Royal Ascot Gold Cup that year.
Despite Her Majesty’s good advice, she doesn’t actually bet herself, with one exception when she joins in on a family sweepstake on Derby Day.
Estimate, was trained by Sit Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, the filly was the 7-2 favourite and became the first horse in history that was owned by a reigning monarch to win.
Lewis’s wife, McCrory spoke of how they last met the Queen in 2013, she said: “The last time we were lucky enough to meet Her Majesty was actually the evening she received her Bafta,” she added with a laugh “something that both of us are still waiting for”.
Adding on, Lewis revealed how he soaked up the information Queen Elizabeth gave him: “I asked for the Grand National because that’s the only time we’re there and she said ‘no, no, no, that’s miles away – you need tips for Royal Ascot first’.
“She gave me a tip for Royal Ascot and it came with a royal seal.”
Alex Salmond, the former Scottish first minister, has also had luck with tips from The Queen.
Over breakfast every morning, The Queen has been seen reading the Racing Post and when one of her 20 or so horses is preparing to race, her racing and bloodstock advisor John Warren will speak to her nearly every day to update her on the progress.