The Queen joins British Champions Hall of Fame

The Queen has been inducted into the Qipco British Champions Hall of Fame.

Her Majesty becomes the first entry in the official hall of fame for British racing within the special contributor category, which is decided by an independent panel, in recognition of her commitment and long-standing patronage of the sport.

The Queen’s famous purple, gold braid and scarlet colours have recorded more than 1,800 winners since her first victory with Monaveen over jumps at Fontwell in 1949. She has twice been champion owner on the Flat in 1954 and 1957 and Her Majesty has enjoyed tremendous success this year.

John Warren, bloodstock and racing advisor to The Queen, said: “I suspect that The Queen will have a lot of inner pride in being invited into the Hall of Fame. The Queen’s contribution to racing and breeding derives from a lifelong commitment. Her love of horses and their welfare comes with a deep understanding of what is required to breed, rear, train and ride a thoroughbred. 

Her Majesty has been recognised for her special contribution to racing
Her Majesty has been recognised for her special contribution to racing

“Her Majesty’s fascination is unwavering and her pleasure derives from all of her horses – always accepting the outcome of their ability so gracefully.”

Sir Francis Brooke, The Queen’s representative at Ascot, said: “The inclusion of The Queen within the Hall of Fame recognises her unique contribution to the world of racing, not only as an enthusiast, but also as a successful owner and breeder and as its most important patron.”

Sir Michael Stoute, who has trained over 100 winners for The Queen, including Estimate, winner of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013, said: “Her Majesty will be thrilled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She richly deserves it because her contribution has been enormous. She loves it so much.

The Queen greets Estimate and  jockey Ryan Moore after their victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013
The Queen greets Estimate and jockey Ryan Moore after their victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013 (Steve Parsons/PA)

“I’ve found that training for The Queen comes with no pressure. Because of her understanding, her deep knowledge and her thirst for more. She’s always thinking ahead – what I’m going to do with this animal, am I going to breed it, who should I breed it to, temperament, speed, stamina. She’s fascinated with the whole idea and we must remember it’s a very long time that she’s been doing it.”

She has bred and owned the winner of every British Classic apart from the Derby, including the Oaks and St Leger with Dunfermline in 1977 during her Silver Jubilee year.

In 2022, The Queen will become the first Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, and the Derby at Epsom will form part of the official celebration of her historic 70-year reign.

In recognition of her induction into the Hall of Fame and to mark her achievement, The Queen will be presented with a specially commissioned medal.

Reach For The Moon in Champagne Stakes picture

Reach For The Moon looks likely to make his next appearance in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday week.

Runner-up to Aidan O’Brien’s star juvenile Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, John and Thady Gosden’s colt has since carried the colours of the Queen to impressive victories at Newbury and Sandown – most recently dominating in the Solario Stakes.

Speaking after Reach For The Moon’s stablemate Saga opened his account at Ascot on Friday, the Queen’s racing manager John Warren reported the son of Sea The Stars to be in rude health ahead of a potential outing on Town Moor.

He said: “Reach For The Moon is in really good form. He had a good blow yesterday (Thursday) and I think we’re all just getting our heads around his next start.

“He’s got an entry in the Champagne Stakes next week, so I think we’ll be looking strongly at that to see whether or not that’s where he ought to go next.

“He’s a horse that needs keeping on top of himself as he’s full of himself.

“I think John and Thady and Frankie (Dettori) think it wouldn’t do him any harm to come out again and get a bit streetwise if he’s going to be a Group One horse – the more education going into Group Ones the better.

“There’s a strong possibility that we’ll take a good, hard look at the Champagne.”

Reach For The Moon is second-favourite for next year’s Derby with most bookmakers, behind his Ascot conqueror Point Lonsdale.

The Queen and Frankie Dettori with Reach For The Moon at Royal Ascot
The Queen and Frankie Dettori with Reach For The Moon at Royal Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)

While Warren admits it would be fantastic for Her Majesty to have another leading candidate for the Epsom showpiece, in what will be Platinum Jubilee year, he is keen not to look too far ahead at this stage.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “I think the horse is going to have to tell us. We can predict all day long what the horse might end up doing next year.

“The Queen will have an important input, but I think this year will give us a good indication whether he’s Group One class.

“We all want to get ahead of ourselves, but I suppose the Group Ones later in the year will tell us whether we’re on track for that (the Derby) and then next spring we’ll have to see if we’re a miler or a mile-and-a-quarter horse or a mile-and-a-half horse.”