I could not care less about the colour of the hat worn by Her Majesty The Queen each day that she attends Ascot. But I do rejoice that she cares so much for the sport that was so loved by her own mother.
Today photos of her acting like an excited punter while watching her horse win the Ascot Gold Cup appear in newspapers around the world.
In Spain, where many people have no idea why people would race horses. In Australia, a country that loves the racing of thoroughbreds and is already looking forward to its Melbourne Cup.
And in America where they are celebrating a memorable win of their own on an unforgettable day three at Royal Ascot.
You can see her saying “YES” as Estimate crosses the line.
I await the Queen saying “BOOM” on Twitter.The historic victory brought about a rare sight. Jockey Ryan Moore is not famed for smiling. Well he wore a grin so bright it lit up Ascot. And he went further. I have no idea what he said to the Queen after the race, but Ryan made her laugh.
Whatever next? Ryan Moore the stand up comic?
Beaming from ear to ear my favourite jockey said of Estimate: “She won well. It’s fantastic to win for the Queen here and in the Gold Cup is special.”
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: “It’s a thrill and an honour to train a winner for the Queen because everyone knows how much she loves this game.”
That royal victory followed directly on from a moment that would move a man made of stone to tears.For the Ribblesdale Stakes I had suggested to members of my selections service that it would be worth having a bet on Riposte at what was then, prior to a few non runners, a double figure each way price.
My reasoning was that the horse appeared to be a classic Sir Henry Cecil horse, namely one that could make the big step up in class to win a race as good as that one. Sir Henry trained five previous winners of this race.
I suggested that just maybe it was written in the stars that his widow Lady Jane would be in the winners’ enclosure at Ascot so soon after the death of Henry?
And so it proved. Riposte, a relative of the great Frankel, won with something in hand and jockey Tom Queally was suitably moved as he returned on the victor. He knew his former boss would not, as usual, be there to greet him.
Tom said: “It’s been a tough, tough week for a lot of people at Warren Place. A a lot of people are struggling emotionally. This means an awful lot to everybody. I feel sure Henry is looking down and helping us.”A tearful Lady Jane Cecil tried to compose herself. She knew TV cameras would soon be in front of her. She wiped away her tears and, like a bereaved person who had been bursting to speak of her feelings, she somehow found the right words for the moment.
What is more, she wanted to.
Lady Jane said: “That was for Sir Henry and all the staff at Warren Place. I don’t really have words to say what I am feeling right now. He was adored by so many. People who never met him just loved him.
“We hardly dared dream we’d have a winner. At the beginning of the week I just thought this was one of best teams going into Ascot for a while and Henry would have relished it. Everyone knows how much he loved Ascot.
“Keeping busy is what is keeping us all going. If we had nothing to do I think we’d all fall to bits.”
John Gosden is another gentleman of racing. Someone who never fails to find the right words to sum up a situation, without recourse to a scriptwriter or public relations adviser. He had a winner at the meeting with Remote in the Tercentary Stakes. He perfectly summed up the day of racing.
Gosden said: “It’s been huge day for racing. The Ribblesdale was one of Henry’s favourite races.
“Henry was a great friend. I spent every morning with him. We’d be out on Newmarket Heath together. I miss him hugely and immensely. I am thrilled for Jane and the team.
“And then for the majesty to win the Gold Cup in that stunning fashion means it has been a seriously historical day in our world of racing.”
The week at Ascot began with a perfectly observed minute of silence to remember a man whose presence at Royal Ascot was as expected as that of the Queen.
I couldn’t help but think that had Henry Cecil still been with us, nobody would have been more delighted at the creation of royal racing history than he.[symple_heading type=”h3″ title=”William Hill are offering new customers a £25 free bet when they sign up” margin_top=”2px;” margin_bottom=”5px” text_align=”left”] Interested? Sign up here. I want a Free £25 bet.
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