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The Queen

Delight for The Queen as she clears her diary to watch the return of horse racing on her television

The Queen is understood to be delighted that her favourite sport, horse racing, has returned to the UK after a 76 day hiatus.

According to the Daily Express, the 94-year-old monarch cleared her diary on Monday, ensuring that she could spend the majority of the afternoon watching the return of horse racing on her television.

Sky Sports Racing aired live coverage of the first 10-race meeting from Newcastle.

Zodiakos, trained by Roger Fell, was the first horse to pass the winning post on Monday, winning by just a neck to Al Ozzdi of the same stable.

But there were no huge crowds cheering on the winner. Instead an eerie silence surrounded the racecourse due to the meeting being held behind closed doors.

While there was joy and celebration at the long awaited return of racing, there was also a great deal of sadness.

Tragedy struck in the 17:05 race when December Second – trained by Philip Kirby – clipped heels with another horse and died after falling.

It is very rare for horses to fall in flat races, however, the consequences tend to be more serious when they do compared to jumps racing. This is due to the fact that falls on the flat are unexpected giving competitors little time to prepare, and often the runners are all bunched close together.

The sport of kings was forced to come to a standstill on March 17 due to the ongoing public health emergency.

Her Majesty’s horse, First Receiver, runs at Kempton Park on Tuesday with three other horses belonging to The Queen also due to race this week.

Due to strict public health restrictions, only people essential to the running of the sport and the wellbeing of its competitors are allowed to enter racecourses, meaning owners like Her Majesty are forced to watch on television from home.