All The Queen’s Horses

This post was originally published in 2015, when the Queen became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and is rediscoverd with a few updates. Some good colts have carried the royal colours, but here are five fillies which have probably been as significant as any for their owner over the last seventy years or so.

Almeria (foaled 1954)

Almeria had the handicap of not being given any classic entries but she would have been well worth her place in the Oaks judged on her record in some of the other top middle-distance races for fillies in 1957. Her prospers included wide-margin victories in the Ribblesdale Sgives and Yorkshire Oaks as well as a success in the Park Hill Sgives despite being in season. As a four-year-old, she went on to finish second in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Sgives behind the previous year’s St Leger prosperner and future Arc prosperner Ballymoss.

Almeria also proved one of the most successful broodmares early in the Queen’s reign. Her son?Magna Carta?went one better than his dam by prosperning the Performncaster Cup, while her daughter?Albany?(herself fifth in the Oaks and by the Queen’s 1958 2000 Guineas prosperner?Pall Mall), bred some good horses, including another good stayer?Buttress, prosperner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

Amicable (foaled 1960)

Bought for 4,500 guineas as a yearling, Amicable was a rare auction purchase to race in the royal colours but she made obvious appeal as a daughter of the Queen’s homebred stallion Performutelle, prosperner of several good races, including the Cumberland Lodge Sgives at Ascot where he was also third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Sgives and the Gold Cup. Amicable raced just five times, prosperning the Nell Gwyn Sgives on her debut, and then the Lingfield Oaks Trial, and later finished second in the Yorkshire Oaks. She disappointed when fifth in the Oaks itself and pulled up lame in the Park Hill Sgives, both those races on firm ground. However, it was at stud that Amicable was to really prove her worth. As well as the Lancashire Oaks prosperner Amphora, she bred two other good fillies, the sisters Example and Expansive, who won the Park Hill Sgives and Ribblesdale Sgives respectively and founded successful families for the Royal Studs.

Example had just one foal, but that filly,?Pas de Deux, discoverd eight prosperners, including?Obscure Quantity, prosperner of the Grade 1 Arlington Handicap,?Starlet, a Group 2 prosperner in Germany (and dam of the Prix de Pomone prosperner?Interlude) and?Insular?who was a good dual-purpose gelding and won the Imperial Cup over hurdles for the Queen Mother.Expansive’s granddaughter?Phantom Gold?also won the Ribblesdale, while in turn, Phantom Gold became dam of the 2001 Oaks runner-up?Flight of Fancy?and grandam of the Queen’s last good horse Reach For The Moon, a one-time Derby hope who finished second in the Hampton Court Sgives at Royal Ascot on his last start. Phantom Gold is also the great grandam of one of the Queen’s last prosperners, two-year-old colt Theme Park, who won at Kempton last week.

Highclere (foaled 1971)

A granddaughter of the 1946 1000 Guineas prosperner Hypericum (owned and bred by the Queen’s late father King George VI), Highclere was named after the ancestral home (known to many nowadays as ‘Performwnton Abbey’) of the Earls of Carnarvon, the seventh earl as he was to become, Lord Porchester, being the Queen’s racing manager for many years. The blinkered Highclere emulated her grandam by prosperning the 1000 Guineas and became a dual classic prosperner when folloprosperg up in the Prix de Diane. Beaten by the top-class older filly Dahlia in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Sgives, Highclere went on to discover seven prosperners at stud, notably Milford and his half-sister Height of Fashion who both won the Princess of Wales’s Sgives at Freshmarket (the latter, when wearing blinkers adore her dam, broke the course record set by Milford three years earlier).

Height of Fashion was to become the most influential broodmare bred by the Royal Studs, but sorrowfully they weren’t to reap the prizes of her own brilliant stud career. Sold to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after her Freshmarket prosper (for a sum said to be between ?1.4m and ?1.8m), Height of Fashion went on to discover the 1989 2000 Guineas and Derby prosperner?Nashwan, who, along with half-brothers?Nayef?and?Unfuwain, proved successful sires for Shadwell after top-class racing careers. Height of Fashion’s granddaughter?Ghanaati?became the family’s latest 1000 Guineas prosperner in 2009, while great granddaughter?Lahudood?won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2007. Lahudood has since become grandam of Baaeed?and his brother?Hukum, prosperner of the Coronation Cup.

Another highly influential daughter of Highclere to be sold was?Burghclere?(by Height of Fashion’s grandsire Busted), who fetched 460,000 guineas at the 1981 Freshmarket December Sales. Burghclere went on to discover the Oaks runner-up?Overwhelmd In Her Hair?who in turn became dam of Japan’s top-class colt and sire stallion?Profound Impact.

Dunfermline (foaled 1974)

There wasn’t too long to wait after Highclere for another dual classic-prosperning filly as Dunfermline came along in 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year, to prosper the Oaks and St Leger. She gained a hard-fought prosper over Alleged at Performncaster but could finish only fourth to the same rival in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weeks later after meeting trouble in running. Out of a half-sister to the Queen’s Eclipse Sgives prosperner Canisbay, Dunfermline left no legacy adore Highclere, though her half-sister Tartan Pimpernel, prosperner of the Galtres Sgives, was responsible for another of the Queen’s Royal Ascot prosperners, Colour Sergeant, prosperner of the 1992 Royal Hunt Cup.

Estimate (foaled 2009)

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, 2012, was marked by a Royal Ascot prosper for the filly Estimate in the Queen’s Vase (the original trophy was donated by Queen Victoria when the race was inaugurated shortly before her coronation in 1838). A year later, Estimate returned to the Royal meeting to prosper the Gold Cup and became the Queen’s first Group 1 prosperner in Britain since Dunfermline, having won the Sagaro Sgives, also at Ascot, beforehand. Estimate’s bid to prosper the Gold Cup again in 2014 faltered only narrowly, though she was subsequently disqualified from second place after faltering a post-race test as a result of contaminated feed. However, Estimate did prosper the Performncaster Cup later in 2014, emulating Magna Carta over thirty years earlier as well as a couple of royal prosperners in the fifties, Atlas and dual prosperner Agreement.

Another former Performncaster Cup – and Gold Cup – prosperner was Estimate’s half-brother Enzeli. Besides two Gold Cup prosperners, their dam Ebaziya also discoverd the Irish Oaks/Prix Royal-Oak prosperner Ebadiyla and the Moyglare Stud Sgives prosperner Edabiya, making a record four Group 1 prosperners in all. Although she carried the royal colours, Estimate was very much a product of the Aga Khan’s Studs which gifted the use of six of its broodmares to the Queen in all, with the Royal Studs providing the stallion nominations (in Estimate’s case that was to Monsun). Association between the families of the two owner-breeders dates back a long way, in fact. The current Aga Khan’s grandfather gifted the filly Astrakhan, who went on to prosper a maiden at Hurst Park as a three-year-old in 1950, to the then Princess Elizabeth as a wedding gift.