King Charles commits to ongoing involvement in Australia

Horse racing sometimes forgets that Royal Ascot is not simply another major meeting, but a golden stitch in the fabric of British society and tradition.

The fixture can attract the best of the Australian sprinters, the World Pool and Wesley Ward but the true essence of the event is under the care and custody of the Crown.

This year, the countdown to that first Royal Procession was not simply a case of ‘who’s in the carriage today?’.

It was a statement to the global horse-racing industry; would the newly-crowned King Charles III take up the mantel of the late Queen Elizabeth II and fully immerse himself in the ‘Sport of the Kings’?

“The King had always told me that he would be completely committed to taking on the late Queen’s bloodstock interest,” John Warren, racing advisor to the King and Queen, said.

“But, of course, directly after the Queen died last year, the King was under pressure in so many ways to deal with everything that was on his plate and it wasn’t really until after the Coronation that the King had an opportunity to first start to really concentrate on these bloodstock affairs.

“I took him and showed him all of his horses in Newmarket and he met the trainers and went around and looked at all the stock, three days after the Coronation. So that was the turning point.”

To the delight of the industry, racing fans across the world and the wider public, King Charles III attended all five days of the Royal Meeting and was rewarded with a Royal winner in the shape of Desert Hero, victorious in the King George V Stakes.

However, it wasn’t simply a Royal winner that enthused His Majesty.

As part of the Royal Ascot celebrations, Racing New South Wales and the Australian Turf Club announced the addition of a new Group 1 to the valuable Everest fixture on 14 October at Royal Randwick.

The King Charles III Stakes, named in honour of the new King, is a 1600-metre weight-for-age Group 1 with a prize fund of $5 million.

Both Peter V’Landys, chief executive of Racing New South Wales, and chairman Russell Balding had the opportunity to meet with the King during Royal Ascot week.

On the Tuesday of Royal Ascot, representatives from the Australian horse racing industry visited the Royal Box to present the King and Queen with the Australia Day Cup Trophy, won by Chalk Stream in February.

“The whole meeting went very well, partially because Neil Wilson [Victoria Racing Club], Peter McGauran [Australian Turf Club] and Chris Waller were invited to come up to the Royal Box and present the King with the Australia Day Cup Trophy that he’d won in February,” Warren said.

Chalk Stream’s victory at Warwick Farm marked a new chapter for the Royals.

It was a first winner in Australia for King Charles III as an owner and although the famous silks have been worn by notable horses such as Carlton House, the Australia Day Cup success was also a landmark first Australian Stakes victory for the Royal Family.

“With the Australia Day Cup presentation and Desert Hero winning, the King would like to continue to stay engaged with having horses in training in Australia, so it’s great to think that we’ve got the likes of Desert Hero being aimed towards the Melbourne Cup,” Warren said.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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