The Queen’s Birthday and her love of racing

It is the Queen’s official birthday! To celebrate our much loved monarch turning 93 years old, let’s take a look at the Queen’s huge contribution to her favourite sport – racing!

The Queen’s interest in racing started at an early age and the love of the sport hasn’t faded, her majesty still owns horses and manages to find the time to visit racecourses around her busy schedule.

This year we look at what the Queen has achieved in British racing as well as fun facts and figures.

Royal stats

Barry Geraghty (left) and Hayley Turner (right) in the Queen’s silks

  • Racing Colours – Purple, gold braid, scarlet sleeves, black velvet cap, gold fringe
  • First Racehorse – Astrakhan, given as a wedding present by the Aga Khan. Astrakhan ran second on her debut at Ascot in October 1949
  • First Winner – Monaveen 10 October 1949, won a steeplechase under jockey Tony
  • Find out the top 5 horses owned by the Queen (by hitting the link)

Greatest achievements in racing

The Queen with champion racehorse Estimate

  • Champion Owner – 1954, 1957
  • Royal Ascot Wins – 23 which includes Estimate’s Gold Cup win in 2013
  • Most Successful Course* – Lingfield, 39 winners from 172 runners, 22% strike rate *1990 to 2015
  • Most Successful Year* – 2014, 30 winners (23 Flat winners and 7 Jumps winners) *since 1990

Testaments from big names in racing

  • “As a jockey any owner giving you the opportunity to ride is a real privilege but there is something special about putting on the Royal Silks. Riding for someone as passionate about the sport as Her Majesty, is an honour and a privilege.” Sir Anthony McCoy (20-time champion Jump jockey)
  • “It is an honour and a privilege to have a horse to train for the Queen. Her knowledge is incredibly vast from breeding right through to hitting the racecourse and beyond.” Charlie Longsdon (trainer)
  • “Wearing the Royal Silks and knowing Her Majesty is cheering you on is a pretty incredible feeling. I feel very proud and very honoured to have been able to ride for the Queen for so many years.” Frankie Dettori (jockey)

The Queen’s name in association with big races

The Queen winning the 2015 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

  • The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes run at Ascot (sponsored by QIPCO), run on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • The Diamond Jubilee run at Royal Ascot in June to mark her 60th year on the throne in 2012
  • The Sandringham Handicap run at Royal Ascot and the Balmoral Handicap run at QIPCO British Champions Day both have a Royal connection

The Queen is a true racing fan and she may be heading to a race-day near you especially as the flat season gets in full swing over the coming weeks.


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