Queen Elizabeth enjoyed herself yesterday (Saturday) as she took the short journey from Windsor Castle to Ascot Racecourse for the Qipco sponsored British Champions Day.
The event boasted four Grade 1 races, one of which was the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The race was won by the crowd’s favourite jockey, Frankie Dettori who received the winner’s prize from Her Majesty, and he had a nice chat with her. Winning is something Frankie does, and he is one of a very few jockeys who has won every race on a card, a feat he achieved at Ascot Racecourse. The Queen was splendid in a matching light pink coat and hat, which was accompanied by a brooch and pearl necklace.
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The Queen, like her mother before her, is an ardent and knowledgeable fan of racehorses and keeps a close eye on all of the horses she owns and that run under her colours. The racecourse, however, owes its existence to a Queen that was on the throne just over three hundred years ago – Queen Anne. She founded the racetrack in 1711, and it is still on Crown Estates land and administered by the Ascot Authority by Act of Parliament.
The racecourse has seen many marvellous performances over the years, and was, of course, one of the highlights of the musical “My Fair Lady” with the “Ascot Gavotte”, and as mentioned earlier Frankie winning every race on the card on one occasion. It is one of the best racecourses in England, and because of that, almost a third of the Grade 1 races are run at the track (quite a few during the Royal meeting in June). This being the case, the best owners, trainers and horses from all around the world, including HM The Queen are attracted to the track. It is, therefore, not surprising, that one of the top trainers Aidan O’Brien yesterday equalled the record for the number of Group 1 wins in a calendar year, with twenty-five wins, and he doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon!