Horse racing and the royals have gone hand-in-hand ever since the sport was invented. The British royal family has kept horses for generations and racing was given particular promotion by King George IV in the 1800s.
Over the years stables that previously bred horses for combat and transport turned into breeding grounds for thoroughbred racing. Now there are elite stables all over the UK and Ireland – and one of them is the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.
The Queen has led a successful stables there for decades and her horses have won some of the biggest races in the sport. It may seem a bit strange to back the monarch’s horse when you’re next horse racing betting, but many people do and to great success.
How many racehorses does the Queen own?
Calculating exactly how many racehorses the Queen owns is tricky, especially as every year new blood is added to her stables. However, as of the mid-way point of 2021 the Queen has fielded 20 horses in races across the UK – and that’s just on Flat.
She owns in excess of 100 horses and is believed to have earned around £6.75m from prize money down the years. In 2016 alone her horses earned a combined £560,000 in prize money. According to Sandringham’s own website, Prince Phillips has used the prize money from his winning horses to spruce up the Walled Kitchen Gardens on the Estate.
The Queen’s appetite for bloodstock breeding has produced a long list of thoroughbred horses down the years. Her horses are foaled at the Royal Stud in Sandringham and trained by a variety of trainers.
What famous racehorses has the Queen owned?
The Queen has owned hundreds of racehorses down the years and has claimed more than 1600 race wins – a figure that is still growing to this day.
Her first big champion was Carrozza, who won the Epsom Oaks in 1957 and the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (named after her!) that year too. Carrozza’s Oaks triumph helped the Queen be named Champion Owner for the second time in her life – the first monarch to ever earn the prize twice.
A year later and Pall Mall handed the Queen her second classic by winning the 2000 Guineas – a race George VI had won with Big Game back in 1942.
In 1974 Highclere won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket – only the Queen’s third fillies classic after Carrozza and Pall Mall more than 16 years previous. Highclere went on to win the Prix de Diane too, before being retired to stud.
Three years later Dunfermline came to the fore and won the Epsom Oaks and St Ledger Stakes, two classics in a single season to become arguably the Queen’s most successful horse.
How many times has the Queen won the Ascot Gold Cup?
Perhaps the most memorable horse owned by the Queen in modern times is Estimate.
The Queen may have a successful stable but one race that evaded her for decades was the Ascot Gold Cup. That was until 2013, when Estimate and jockey Ryan Moore charged home in front of a roaring crowd to claim a first Ascot Gold Cup win for a reigning monarch in the race’s 207-year history.
“It’s a special thrill for the Queen. She said it gave her great pleasure and she thanked everyone involved,” said Estimate’s trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
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