All the Queen’s horses! Our top 5 champions owned by The Queen
Wednesday 9 September is a momentous day for Britain. Her Majesty The Queen will become the longest serving monarch in British history having been the Head of State for 63 years, seven months and two days.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has overseen the English national team winning the World Cup, a man landing on the moon and the emergence of the internet. But, she has also tasted top-level sporting success in the horse racing sphere as an owner.
Here’s our top five champions owned by the world’s most famous racing aficionado!
5 – Carrozza (born in 1954)
A filly that may well have fuelled Her Majesty’s passion for racing, Carrozza was The Queen’s first British Classic winner only five years into her reign.
Trained at Warren Place Stables in Newmarket by handler Noel Murless, the three-year-old was the 1957 champion of the Epsom Oaks.
Sent into the lead in the closing stages of the contest by legendary jockey Lester Piggott, a late challenge by Irish raider Silken Glider ensured that the race had a tight finish, but the Royal filly prevailed.
Carrozza’s success at Epsom helped The Queen finish the 1957 season as Champion Owner.
4 – Highclere (born in 1971)
Named after the castle that belonged to the Queen’s racing manager – where, interestingly, Downton Abbey is now filmed – Highclere was a top-class filly that not only won a British Classic, but was also highly effective as a broodmare at stud.
Based in West Ilsey, Berkshire, with trainer Dick Hern, the filly’s first appearance of the 1974 season came in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. In another tight finish, Her Majesty’s filly won by a narrow margin to provide her with a second fillies’ Classic victory – 17 years after Carrozza.
Highclere would also go on to have success in France, winning the Prix de Diane.
However, arguably, the filly’s greatest achievement was at stud. Her daughter, Height of Fashion, would go on to produce 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby champion Nashwan and multiple Group race winner Nayef.
3 – Pall Mall (born in 1955)
Trained in Newmarket with Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, Pall Mall would become the first British 2000 Guineas-winning colt for Her Majesty The Queen – despite being unfancied for the contest itself.
Even with a victory in a Classic trial at Thirsk beforehand, The Queen’s Classic contender was a dismissed 20/1 chance.
However, with the stable second jockey, Doug Smith, on board, Pall Mall would keep his critics quiet on the Rowley Mile track.
Taking up the lead in the closing stages, the three-year-old colt never looked back – winning by a one and half-length margin. Unfortunately, due to illness, Her Majesty was not present for the victory.
The Queen would, though, see him at his very best – winning the 1958 and 1959 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
2 – Estimate (born in 2009)
Estimate’s career success would let the world see how much racing means to Her Majesty The Queen.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly was originally an eightieth birthday present from the Aga Khan, but she turned out to be one of The Queen’s best ever horses.
Winner of the Queen’s Vase Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012, the daughter of Monsun would send the entire country into raptures in the following season’s Gold Cup.
Alongside the Derby, the Royal Ascot feature contest was a prize that Her Majesty was determined to win.
With Ryan Moore on board, her dream became a reality in 2013. Fighting doggedly in the closing stages, Estimate would claim one of the sport’s biggest prizes by the narrowest of margins at the Berkshire track. The Queen was now a Gold Cup champion!
1 – Dunfermline (born in 1974)
Our number one! It takes a mighty horse to knock Estimate off the top spot, but we believe that Dunfermline was just that.
After winning the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, Her Majesty’s filly was aimed at the Epsom Oaks as a fancied contender. With the Queen in attendance, Dunfermline stayed on strongly to repel her rivals and win the fillies’ Classic.
Though, it was her performance in the same season’s St Leger that made her shine as a superstar. Up against the short-priced favourite Alleged, Dunfermline was going to be in for an almighty battle.
Her Majesty’s filly, ridden by Willie Carson, was caught up in a tense battle in the dying stages of the race, but it was Dunfermline who won the prolonged duel by a one-and-a-half-length margin.
A double Classic champion, she was also one of the best fillies of the twentieth century. Enjoy the roar for the Royal winner…