The first racehorse owned and bred jointly by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be trained in Hampshire by Ralph Beckett.

Named Royal Superlative, the filly was reared at the Royal Stud in Norfolk, having been foaled by the mare Supereva, who was a wedding gift from The Queen to Charles and Camilla. Royal Superlative turns two on New Year’s Day and is expected to be in action towards the middle of next summer.

Beckett, 36, and his wife, Issy, follow their local pack, the Wilton, among others, sharing a love of hunting with the royal couple. They are based at Whitsbury Manor Stables, where David Elsworth trained Desert Orchid.

Beckett has never met his new owners, nor trained for any member of the royal family. He admitted: “It was a bit of a shock to get the phone call from John Warren [The Queen’s bloodstock adviser] and when he told me the plan I did a double-take. It’s a real honour and very exciting.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (28 December, ’07)