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where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-10-20 17:27:00  
Champions Crowned in British Style

Billed as racing stars day out and no doubt that this was the day of stars equine and human. The UK's richest day of racing with £4.5 m prize money sponsored by the Qipco team led by Sheik Fahad. It could not have been better weather, being one of those perfect autumnal crisp bright days that make England really special. ROSE HALL reported for SAHorseracing.COM  

The going was soft and the turf that beautiful vibrant green that Chris Stickels the Clerk of the course works hard at achieving. It is breathtakingly beautiful to look out from this beautiful grandstand onto the Royal track with the trees in the distance turning gold. The lightest of breezes just kept the numerous Royal blue Qipco flags flying. Owner of Ascot. the Queen was in her box along with Grandaughter, Zara Tindall, another horse lover and the Qatar royalty .

The Queen loves her racing and it was so lovely watching her with the owners , cheering home Roaring Lion the winner of the Queen Elizabeth 11 stakes. I love the Queen and am so lucky to have seen her on many occasions at the races. This is where she really wants to be and she is comfortable with racing folk. Ascot is obviously her track and she can be at home with her feet up in 10 minutes so that all helps. The publics favourite jockey Frankie has had a cracking day, forgive the pun, and his last ride on the Frankel sired Cracksman was a walk in the park. Last year he won by 7 lengths and this year by 6. He loved the ground and with blinkers fitted for the first time had his mind on the job. No doubt fillies were a bit of a distraction at Royal Ascot in June and his trainer John Gosden wanted to just keep him focused. Frankie gave him a couple of cracks on leaving the stalls and again a furlong in so no doubt that was also a bit of a reminder as to what he was here for. He was the hero of the day and Frankie gave him a huge cuddle before leaving the winning enclosure, knowing this was the last time he was to ride him. Cracksman has a tenuous connection to South Africa being owned and bred by Anthony Oppenheimer of De Beers heritage. The John Gosden/ Oppenheimer partnership has been successful for decades and they are obviously great friends. A real old school racing trio with Gosden and Frankie that have stuck it out through thick and thin.

Mr. Oppenheimer famously said a few years ago that it costs him over £1.5 million every year to keep his operations here and in the States going. A staggering investment into the game, he deserves this Colt to be a success at stud. Frankie opened the batting with Stradivarius, a stayer that has been wowing the crowds all season. We love our stayers over here and with his flashy good looks he has been a crowd fave, bit like Frankie. They suit each other. John Gosden said how sporting it was of the owners to give him a crack at the race considering he's not a " soft" lover but perhaps the fact that most of the opposition had headed for the Melbourne cup made it worth a chance. The not ungenerous first prize of nearly quarter of a million pounds was probably a bit of a temptation too. Mind you he had already won the £1 m bonus for winning the Gold cup at Ascot and at York so not sure the prize money was actually a big issue.

After a day of 4 Group 1's, a Group 2 and a Group 2 handicap race goers then could dance the night away with an after party led by Ella Eyre and Jax Jones. Ascot know how to keep the crowds happy and a huge crowd stayed on while the Queen and I decided enough was enough and both drove home to Windsor.  

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