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Comment 24 MAY 2012

Is the Queen racing towards her heart's desire?

24 MAY 2012

Throughout her life, the Queen has nurtured a burning ambition – to have one of her prized racehorses gallop to victory at the Derby.

Last year, she and the young royal set excitedly cheered on her mare Carlton House.

The emotion of that occasion kept the monarch inside, watching the grand finale unfold on a television within the enclosure.

"She was just too tense" one race official explained.  







Her Majesty's hopes were dashed when her colt finished third. Now, her Diamond Jubilee year could provide the Queen with the one horseracing title that has eluded her.

On Saturday June 2, she will be in Epsom for a special race that will kick off a weekend of nationwide celebrations.

This year, regal hopes may ride upon her four-year-old thoroughbred, jovially named Set To Music.

If the horse performs well in the days leading up to her owner's big weekend, she could provide the sovereign with her heart's desire.




"The Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup is a race we could look at with Set To Music," royal trainer Michael Bell said.

"She is in good form and coming to hand nicely. Last season she improved with every run and won very nicely at York.

"Looking at her pedigree, she is bred to improve, so I hope as the season unfolds her progress will continue."

Horses compete with Corgis as one of the Queen's most enduring passions, and her annual pilgrimage to the Derby is when the usually calm and collected monarch can be seen in her element.






Elizabeth II not only enjoys riding, she possesses a knowledge of equestrian matters that rivals the professionals who manage her 25 animals.

And the monarch is a keen breeder, often buying horses from Kentucky to maintain lineage.

The Bluegrass State's fertile soils are famous for consistently producing high-quality livestock. And In 2007, the Queen attended its own world famous Derby.

Even when on official business, there is always room for her hobby. During her historic trip to Ireland, she took time out to visit a thoroughbred breeding facility.

Although the Derby continues to elude her, she has been victorious in all other flat racing events, collectively known as 'The Classics'.

Trophies for the the 1,000 and 2,000 guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger can all be found on her mantelpiece.


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