Friday's Racing Cancelled as Mark of Respect for the Queen

The Queen at Royal Ascot in 2013 |

Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral, Thursday evening's meetings at Southwell and Chelmsford were both abandoned, and no racing will take place in Britain on Friday. 

A further announcement will be made on Friday regarding plans for Saturday's racing, which includes the final Classic of the British season, the St Leger, a race won by the Queen's homebred Dunfermline (GB) in 1977, the year of her Silver Jubilee. News regarding plans for the period of national mourning leading up to the Queen's funeral are expected to be announced shortly.

The Queen's long and successful association with the turf came to an end on Thursday when she was represented by her final runner at Epsom. Improvise (GB), trained by Michael Bell and ridden by Benoit De La Sayette, was beaten a short head to finish second. Her Majesty's final winner came on Tuesday, September 6 when the Clive Cox-trained two-year-old Love Affairs (GB) won at Goodwood.

A statement released by the British Horseracing Authority on Thursday evening  read, “All of British Racing is in mourning today following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

“Her Majesty has been one of the greatest and most influential supporters in the history of horseracing. Her passion for racing and the racehorse shone brightly throughout her life, not only through her close involvement in breeding and racing horses, but in her roles as a patron of The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, and as the figurehead of Royal Ascot.

“From her first-ever winner Monaveen, through stars such as Carrozza and Highclere, to the unforgettable Estimate, Her Majesty The Queen has helped to shape the breed and contributed to moments on the track that will go down in sporting folklore.

“It is right, therefore, that all racing is suspended for today and tomorrow as we begin to grieve Her Majesty's passing and remember her extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.”

Queen Elizabeth II has been succeeded by her eldest son, the former Prince of Wales, who now becomes King Charles III.

Sir Francis Brooke, Her Majesty's representative at her beloved Ascot racecourse, said, “The nation mourns the loss of a much loved and respected monarch. The world of racing has lost one of its greatest supporters.

“We at Ascot are privileged to have so many memories of Her Majesty The Queen at this, her racecourse, including some wonderful victories in the royal colours.

“We offer our deepest sympathies to His Majesty The King and the whole Royal Family.”

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