Matt Chapman: Racing has lost its biggest supporter but the amazing action this weekend will do her proud | The Sun

THEY call it the Sport of Kings.

That it may be, but without doubt it was the sport of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen’s death means racing has lost its most treasured supporter.

All we can do is mourn her loss and be thankful she loved the game that we all love so much.

That horses — Aureole, Pall Mall, Highclere, Dunfermline and Estimate among them — were for her a thing of marvel.

Never did Her Majesty seem more relaxed than when at the races.

She shared jokes with Frankie Dettori at Royal Ascot — she even managed to coax a smile from usually poker-faced Ryan Moore when her orange and blue outfit matched the Michael Tabor colours sported by Moore on the winners’ podium.

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Her unbridled joy after Estimate won the Gold Cup lit up the racecourse.

It was the greatest moment the great meeting has ever known.

Her absence was keenly felt at Royal Ascot this year when mobility problems kept her away from her beloved sport.

And it would have been wonderful to see her at Epsom over the Platinum Jubilee weekend when 40 jockeys who have ridden in the royal colours formed a guard of honour.

We have sorely missed her this summer. She will forever be sorely missed from our racecourses.

It was refreshing to see the sincere and moving speeches in her honour in the House of Commons yesterday and it is fitting racing has been called off in the UK today.


Doncaster’s St Leger will still go ahead tomorrow as part of an enhanced card.

Her Majesty won the oldest Classic with Dunfermline in 1977 and, no doubt, she would have been enthralled by the stars who are in action at home and across the continent this weekend.

Where to start?  

With New London or Vadeni? Homeless Songs or Saffron Beach? Highfield Princess or Meditate? Aesop’s Fables or Kyprios? Tuesday or Verry Elleegant?

On a top-quality weekend, Classics should always come first, so let’s deal with Doncaster and the final British highlight for three-year-olds, the St Leger.

On paper there’s no doubt one-time Derby hope New London is the one to beat, having landed four of his five starts and powered to success in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last time from the decent Deauville Legend, with the re-opposing Hoo Ya Mal back in third.

If it stays close to good New London will be very hard to beat, but I’m interested in French Claim each-way should the heavens open and the going become testing.

French Claim, ridden by Danny Tudhope for Paddy Twomey, plodded on in a distant third behind Westover in the Irish Derby, with the run suggesting this two-furlong-further trip  will be right up his street.

At Leopardstown today VADENI heads the market for the  Irish Champion Stakes.

The race sets up well for a horse with a turn of foot, as both Broome and Stone Age are front-runners.

That pair would also want to set a stamina test for stable-companion Luxembourg.

The problem, though is a real tear-up will also suit Vadeni, who has a typically French devastating burst of pace.

Hopefully super Soumillon comes flying through late.

On the same card I can’t wait to see Homeless Songs,  back after a long lay-off in the Group 1 Matron Stakes over a mile.

HOMELESS SONGS was devastating in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, thrashing Tuesday — the Oaks hero who runs in tomorrow’s Prix Vermeille.

Since then, the Dermot Weld star has been waiting for ground that has some cut.

Taking her on is Saffron Beach, who was good at Royal Ascot in the Duke of Cambridge and even better last time in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild.

Tactics look simple, with Jane Chapple-Hyam’s runner likely to go off in front and Homeless Songs attempting to cut her down.

That’s not to mention Tenebrism, who will also bid to fly late!

I mentioned the Vermeille, but it’s tomorrow’s Qatar Prix Foy that marks the second run in Europe of VERRY ELLEEGANT.

For those of you who don’t follow world racing that closely, Verry Elleegant has been a superstar in Australia, landing both the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup.

She clearly needed the run on her French debut, but is much better than that.

It’s a weekend the Queen would have loved. Her understanding of top racehorses was second to none. Her love of racing was priceless.

We will all miss you ma’am.

Thank you for everything.

Most read in Horse Racing

St Leger to be run at Doncaster on Sunday but ALL racing cancelled on Saturday

How many racehorses are owned by the Queen?

Frankie pays tribute to The Queen and says 'thank you, ma'am'

No monarch left their mark on the 'sport of kings' quite like The Queen

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