Five of the best horses to carry the colours of the Queen

The Queen has had an enduring passion for horse racing during her 70 years on the throne – as an owner and a breeder. As Her Majesty celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, Keith Hamer selects five of the very best horses to have carried the royal silks:

Aureole

Aureole after his King George triumph at Ascot
Aureole after his King George triumph at Ascot (PA)

Almost gave Her Majesty a fairytale victory in the Derby in Coronation year of 1953 when he was second to Pinza. Trained by Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, he was also fifth in the 2000 Guineas and third in the St Leger. He went on to be the best older horse in Europe in 1954 with victories in the Coronation Cup, Hardwicke Stakes and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Pall Mall

Pall Mall won the 2000 Guineas for the Queen (PA)
Pall Mall won the 2000 Guineas for the Queen (PA)

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Also trained by Boyd-Rochfort, he took the 1958 2000 Guineas to be the first Classic winner bred by Her Majesty. He justified the decision to keep him in training as a four-year-old by enhancing his reputation with victory in the Lockinge Stakes.

Highclere

Highclere after winning the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket
Highclere after winning the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket (PA)

Trainer Dick Hern got Highclere ready to win the 1000 Guineas on her seasonal debut in heart-stopping fashion by a short head from Polygamy, who went on to lift the Oaks. Highclere bypassed Epsom for the French Oaks (Prix de Diane) and is the only horse to win both races. She was also second to Dahlia in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Dunfermline

Dunfermline (left) wins the Oaks at Epsom
Dunfermline (left) wins the Oaks at Epsom (PA)

This filly made the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year of 1977 extra special with victory in not one Classic, but two. She won the Oaks despite suffering interference in running and then went on to Doncaster for the St Leger where she inflicted the only defeat on Alleged. She was also a creditable fourth behind that horse in the Arc.

Estimate

Estimate gave the Queen a Gold Cup win at Royal Ascot
Estimate gave the Queen a Gold Cup win at Royal Ascot (Steve Parsons/PA)

Estimate gave the Queen her greatest Royal Ascot moment when fending off the late charge of Simenon to lift the 2013 Gold Cup, with the two-and-a-half-mile contest very much the jewel in the crown at the Berkshire track. Estimate had won the Queen’s Vase the previous year but she could not defend her title in 2014, finishing second but eventually being disqualified for a failed drugs test.

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