‘Royal’ Raceday: With the wedding of the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend, this Saturday 19th May also marks another Royal celebration – the 60th anniversary of Pall Mall’s win in the inaugural running of the prestigious Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, a horse owned and bred by Her Majesty The Queen.
You can watch a video about Her Majesty the Queen’s record-breaking horse Pall Mall here:
Video courtesy of QIPCO British Champions Series
After a shock 20/1 win in the 2,000 Guineas (pictured top, courtesy of QIPCO British Champions Series), Pall Mall went on to win the Lockinge Stakes two years in row, in 1958 and 1959, ridden by Harry Carr and trained by Sir Cecil Boyd-Rochfort.
John Warren, Racing Manager for Her Majesty The Queen commented: “Her Majesty has enjoyed many memorable wins at Newbury Racecourse and it is appropriate that on such a Royal weekend, a number of her horses’ triumphs are being celebrated at the course.
“Pall Mall was a high-class horse that gave Her Majesty much pleasure, especially winning The Lockinge twice. Newbury Racecourse is very much a favourite of The Queen’s and the visits have been unchanged in Her Majesty’s diary for decades. The newly configurated stands and facilities make Newbury one of the best racecourses in the UK.”
Racing and Royalty go hand in hand, with Her Majesty a lifelong fan of the sport, and racegoers will be able to enjoy both this weekend at Newbury Racecourse where the Royal Wedding will be broadcast across big screens ahead of the live action, which starts 1.50pm and includes the feature race, the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes – the second leg of the Mile category in QIPCO British Champions Series – at 3.40pm.
In the 60 years since the first running of the Lockinge Stakes, Newbury has played host to a number of memorable occasions in which The Queen’s horses have starred and the racecourse has captured some of her most significant triumphs in a specially designed permanent timeline which will be on display in the Berkshire Stand for racegoers to enjoy.
It starts with Doutelle winning the John Porter Stakes on 17th April 1958, who provided Her Majesty with her very first winner at Newbury, and includes Pall Mall’s victory in the in first-ever running of the Lockinge. Arguably the best colt to ever carry The Queen’s colours, he went on to become a very successful stallion.
Another moment captured in the timeline is 17th April, 1970, when Charlton, named in honour of the 1966 England World Cup winning brothers, Bobby and Jack Charlton, didn’t let the side down when starting his three-year-old season at Newbury by landing the Spring Maiden by four lengths. He developed into a smart performer, winning on four more occasions including the Henry II Stakes at Sandown. Widely regarded as one of her favourite racecourses, The Queen has enjoyed a total of 67 winners to date.
Harry Herbert, Director at Newbury Racecourse and the son of the Queen’s former racing manager, remembers the stories of Pall Mall who is commemorated at Newbury Racecourse in the form of a grandstand. “Pall Mall was before my father’s time as Her Majesty’s Racing Manager but he was a very special horse and it’s lovely to mark the 60 years since his success on this happy day.
“It is a wonderful coincidence that Lockinge Day will provide many more happy memories for the Royal family as Harry and Meghan get married on the same day as one of Her Majesty’s most successful racedays.”
Racegoers can expect extra celebrations in honour of the Royal nuptials with gates opening at 11.00am and the Royal Wedding broadcast on big screens around the racecourse ahead of the live racing action which starts at 1.50pm.
After racing, all are welcome at the after-party in the Champagne Hall with a live DJ who will be sure to put together the ultimate wedding playlist or if live music is more your thing, head to the Copper King Bar marquee in the Grandstand Enclosure and listen to local Lambourn-based band, Uncovered, who regularly raise money for Racing Welfare.
Gates open from 11am on Saturday 19th May and tickets can be purchased online by visiting newburyracecourse.co.uk
Racegoers who share the names of the soon-to-be-wed Royal couple will be granted a complimentary Grandstand ticket to Newbury for Al Shaqab Lockinge Day if booking in advance.
Harrys, Henrys, Megans and Meghans will all be entitled to a complimentary Grandstand ticket when booked in advance by phone on 01635 40015 and with valid proof of identity.
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