UK News King Charles takes on Queen's racehorses
Queen Elizabeth spent 'hours' planning beloved racehorses' futures '48 hours' days before death
Queen Elizabeth remained spirited about her horses in the lead up to her death.Queen Elizabeth spent "hours" planning for the future of her beloved racehorses "less than 48 hours" before her death.
King Charles III will have his first horse race in the famous royal silks having inherited them after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, when Educator lines up at Salisbury on Thursday.
While the King has previously had runners in the colours that he shared with the Queen Consort when they were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall respectively, it will be the first time the famous purple, red and gold silks will race in his name.
"Queen Elizabeth's great personal interest in horse racing was one of Her Majesty's lifelong passions and the King is delighted to honour her legacy," said a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
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Educator, who is trained by William Haggas, was a one-time Classic hope for the late Queen, but the three-year-old has not run since winning a Newmarket handicap by a nose back in April.
He was also one of two horses who galloped up Warren Hill in the royal silks in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at Newmarket's Open Weekend earlier this month. He will race in the Radcliffe & Co Handicap on Thursday.
Educator will be the first horse to race in the royal silks since Improvise was narrowly at Epsom on September 8, the same day as the late Queen died at her Balmoral estate.
Tom Marquand will be aboard Educator, who is the son of Deep Impact, and he expects mixed feelings.
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“Having ridden for the Queen they will remain some of the proudest moments of my career,” said Marquand. “Riding the first runner (for the King) is a moment to cherish as well. Educator is a lovely horse, he's shown a bit of character at home. He's obviously an important runner, it will be a sad day and a happy day at the same time."
The late Queen was renowned as an owner and breeder, and Joe Saumarez Smith, chair of the British Horseracing Authority, is delighted that the royal racing interests will be continued by the King.
"The loss of Her late Majesty was keenly felt within the racing and breeding industries given her lifelong passion for the sport, and so we are naturally thrilled to see that the horses previously owned by her will race on in the ownership of His Majesty King Charles III,” he said.
"Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II left an indelible mark on our sport and her legacy will continue to be felt, not only through the horses that will continue to run in the name of King Charles III, but also those she bred who are yet to be seen on the racecourse.
"We wish Educator and King Charles III the very best of luck … and keenly look forward to further successes in those famous royal silks."
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