Horse racing pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II with national anthem and two-minute silence
Ahead of the opening Champagne Stakes in Doncaster, trainers, jockeys and valets gathered in the parade ring to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
Racing came together to pay its respects to the Queen on a rescheduled St Leger day at Doncaster.
Following the Queen’s death on Thursday, Friday’s fixture on Town Moor was immediately cancelled and it was later confirmed Saturday’s racing would not take place.
The British Horseracing Authority announced on Friday that racing would resume on Sunday, with the exception of Musselburgh, and that the Cazoo St Leger – the world’s oldest Classic and won by the Queen’s homebred filly Dunfermline in 1977, her Silver Jubilee year – would form the centrepiece of a nine-race Doncaster card.
Ahead of the opening Champagne Stakes at 12.30pm, trainers, jockeys and valets gathered in the parade ring to observe a two-minute silence before all in attendance were invited to sing the national anthem.
Frankie Dettori said: “We’re going out there to race, but we’re not going to be jumping up and down. It’s still fresh in the memory.
“I think the last time I saw her was when I rode Reach For The Moon (at Ascot last year). It was the last time she went racing to Ascot, I think, as she didn’t come to Champions Day and she didn’t come to Royal Ascot (this year).”
The BHA said on Saturday that all racing in Britain will be cancelled on Monday September 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Dettori wasted little time in getting a winner – but there was no sign of his famous flying dismount after Chaldean’s victory in the Champagne.
On his recollections of the Queen, Dettori – like all jockeys sporting a black armband – said: “I’ve got loads, we’d be here all day. There is a bit of an empty feeling in the weighing room. I didn’t jump off out of respect. We’re carrying on, but it’s still fresh in the memory.
“We have to deal with it and we’re going to miss her a lot.”Chaldean is trained by Andrew Balding, whose winners for the Queen include Tactical in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot two years ago.
“It’s been a tough week. This result will maybe lift the mood a little bit at home (Park House Stables in Kingsclere), but it’s a big hole to fill,” he said.
“My father trained for her and my grandfather before that.
“A big hole has been left in everybody’s life, but we’ve been so privileged to have worked for her and known her so long. It’s a great loss.”