Queen ‘delighted’ at Royal Ascot winner despite missing live action

The Queen was "delighted" to have a winner on day two of Royal Ascot but is likely to have felt a tinge of disappointment at not being there to see the victory in person, her bloodstock adviser said.

The monarch, 94, is following the coverage on television from Windsor Castle as this year's prestigious race meeting is held behind closed doors.

It is the first time in her 68-year reign that she has not attended the popular annual horseracing event.

Wednesday saw success for the head of state when one of her horses, Tactical, claimed victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

The Queen's horse, Tactical, won the Windsor Castle Stakes on day two at Royal Ascot (Megan Ridgwell/PA)
The Queen's horse, Tactical, won the Windsor Castle Stakes on day two at Royal Ascot (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

Trainer Andrew Balding said: "It's obviously a great thrill for all of us to have a royal winner at the Royal meeting.

"On race days we tend to give the Queen a ring in the morning and give her our thoughts. We did that this morning, so she was well informed."

The win will have been the icing on the cake as the Queen followed proceedings closely from home, her bloodstock adviser John Warren said.

He said: "Throughout the conversations the Queen was saying how delighted she is to produce a two-year-old winner at Royal Ascot."

Mr Warren described the monarch as "very pragmatic" and someone who "doesn't get frustrated lightly" but said there will most likely have been some disappointment on her part at not being present for the win.

He said: "It is obviously a great shame Her Majesty isn't there to enjoy the buzz of having a runner, but she has studied every bit of it today, watching the races. It's the icing on the cake to have a winner for her.

"I think the Queen, every day of her life, follows racing one way or another when she can. She will have read the Racing Post and known very well the important, fancied horses. She always dedicates half an hour or so to the information every day, so she's very well tuned in and racing is her tremendous pleasure.

"The Queen doesn't get frustrated lightly – she's very pragmatic and takes everything in her stride. I suspect deep down there may have been a tinge of disappointment she wasn't there, but that was completely overridden by having a winner and breeding it.

"I suspect she got a warm inner feeling from pulling this one off."

More than 300,000 guests, dressed in their finery, usually gather for the five-day sporting and social highlight in Berkshire which began on Tuesday.

But this year there is no monarch, no royal carriage procession, no trophy presentations and no spectators amid strict Government guidelines brought in when racing resumed at the start of the month.

As an owner, the Queen has access to a virtual Royal Ascot parade ring to be able to view her horses from the safety of Windsor where she has been staying for the past 13 weeks during the pandemic.

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