DONCASTER, England — British horse racing paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday as the late monarch’s favorite sport returned after a two-day break following her death.
A two-minute silence was held in Doncaster ahead of the first race of a program that included the St. Leger Flat Race Classic, which Queen’s horse Dunfermline won in 1977 for one of its most prestigious victories .
A video showing the Queen at various races over the years, as well as some of her greatest triumphs as an owner, was later shown on the big screen.
“No one has or will ever do so much for horse racing in so long as Her Majesty The Queen,” said narrator Brough Scott, a former jockey turned TV presenter, during the video. “The sport of the world will forever be indebted to him.”
It was followed by a long standing ovation from the jockeys and officials who lined up for the tribute ceremony.
Race day took place as the Queen’s coffin made its way through the Scottish countryside on Sunday in a hearse driving from her summer estate of Balmoral Castle – where she died aged 96 on Thursday – to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The journey took the hearse through Dunfermline, the small town after which its Classic-winning horse is named, where a crowd lined up on an overhead bridge to watch it go by.
In Doncaster, Eldar Eldarov produced a late push over the final yard to win this year’s St. Leger by two lengths.
“The whole nation is saddened by the loss of the Queen, everyone in the race has been hit hard because we have really lost our boss,” Eldar Eldarov coach Roger Varian said. “We’re grateful the race happened today, I think that’s what she would have wanted.”
Horse racing was the great sporting fascination of the Queen, who became one of the biggest faces of sport in Britain and around the world.
She has had over 1,800 winners as a racehorse owner, her jockeys always wearing purple, gold and scarlet – the colors of the legendary royal racing silks also used by father and son. great grandfather.
Jockey Frankie Dettori has ridden over 50 winners for the Queen over the past 30 years. On Sunday, he won the Coral Champagne Stakes on Chaldean, but refrained from his usual flying outing for a more low-key celebration.
“There is a bit of an empty atmosphere in the weigh-in room,” Dettori told Sky Sports. “I didn’t jump out of respect. Look, we’re moving on, but it’s still fresh in our memory and we have to deal with it. But she will be greatly missed.
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