Queen Elizabeth's last conversation with trainer of beloved horses

Racehorse-loving Queen was on the phone to her trainer two days before her death discussing her final winner – as brilliant footage resurfaces of Her Majesty cheering on horse at the races

  • Queen Elizabeth II was speaking with her horse trainer two days before death
  • She has long held affections for horses and the sport of racing, and is often described as ‘at her happiest’ at the races
  • Industry insiders who knew the Queen say they have lost the sport’s ‘biggest ambassador’
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Queen Elizabeth II was ‘sharp as a tack’ when she spoke with her horse trainer just two days before her tragic death.

Her Majesty long held an affinity for horses and was often described as being ‘at her happiest’ at the races. 

Touching footage of the Queen looking elated as she celebrated her filly Estimate winning the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup surfaced in the wake of her death, highlighting how much joy the sport – and the animals – brought her.

An hour before Boris Johnson arrived at her Balmoral estate to resign and hand the reigns of government over to Liz Truss on Tuesday, the monarch spoke at length with Clive Cox.

Mr Cox is responsible for several of the Queen’s 50 racehorses, including her filly Love Affairs, who won at Goodwood race track on September 6 and became the final winner of her long career as a racehorse owner.

Members of the Royal family cheer after the Queen’s horse crosses the line in first place during the 2013 Ascot

The Queen was never happier than on a racecourse watching her horses. Pictured watching her filly Estimate win the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup

Pictured: Horse trainer Clive Cox (left) celebrates with jockey Adam Kirby (right) after the Queen’s horse, Love Affairs, won at the Goodwood race course on Tuesday, September 6 – two days before the Queen’s death

The Queen loved her horses. Pictured cantering at Ascot in June 1961

The late Queen herself reportedly still rode around Windsor Castle into her 90s – against the advice of her medical team. 

She spoke to Mr Cox on the morning of every race, he told The Times, adding that those conversations were ‘the greatest privilege of [his] life’.

‘When I called on Tuesday I was told that the Queen was quite busy, which was understandable. But at 10 o’clock the phone rang and it was Her Majesty on the line,’ he said.

‘We talked about the filly, how the race might pan out, how another horse of hers was doing in my stable, and about a couple of other things. She was as sharp as a tack.’ 

Willie Carson, who was one of many jockeys who raced for the Queen, told the Racing Post the sport has lost its biggest ambassador.

‘Winning a race obviously gave her great pleasure, but her biggest pleasure was the horse. She loved the horse and loved the turf and we have just lost somebody who can never be replaced,’ he said. 

John Warren, her racing adviser, once said: ‘If the Queen wasn’t the Queen, she would have made a wonderful trainer. She has such an affinity with her horses and is so perceptive.’

The only days ring-fenced in her diary every year were Derby day and Royal Ascot. The Racing Post, the sport’s dedicated daily newspaper, was regular morning reading.

It’s understood the new King will inherit the Queen’s stables and ownership of Royal  Ascot, but Queen Consort Camilla will likely take on the patronage of the sport.

She is said to be ‘absolutely besotted by racing’ and received a glowing reference by Mr Warren. 

Mr Cox said his conversations with the Queen were one of the greatest privileges of his life

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