‘Royal’ Shetlands race in honour of The Queen

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  • Miniature counterparts of The Queen’s top racehorses flew past crowds at Royal Windsor racecourse in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

    The “Royal Shetland Race” was held during last night’s meeting (9 May) and all the young jockeys wore the distinctive red and purple silks.

    Six Shetland ponies, temporarily renamed after The Queen’s racehorses, galloped along the Windsor straight over two-and-three-quarter furlongs.

    Dunfermline (pictured, top), ridden by 13-year-old Digby Sheperd, left the rest of the field in his wake, finishing lengths ahead of second-placed Aureole and Eve Bacon.

    Syd Macaulay rode Pall Mall into third.

    Other contestors for the title were Carlton House, Estimate and Highclere.

    Jockeys and ponies line up in the Royal Windsor Racecourse parade ringRacing was later cancelled at the Berkshire course due to heavy rain.

    The original Dunfermline won two British Classics during the 1970s. A crowd favourite, he won the 1977 Oaks at Epsom and the St Leger in the same season.

    Aureole’s larger namesake finished second in the Derby at Epsom during the same week as Her Majesty’s coronation in 1953.

    He went on to win prestigious races at Royal Ascot and Epsom as well as the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1954.

    Riders get underway in the Royal Shetland RacePall Mall’s Shetland doppleganger couldn’t quite top the thoroughbred’s triumph.

    Named after a road close to Buckingham Palace, he won the 2000 Guineas in 1958 — the only time The Queen has won this race.

    He went on to win back-to-back Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in 1958 and 1959.

    Related articles:

    As a further celebration of The Queen’s 90th birthday, a royal-themed fixture will take place at the racecourse on 16 May, featuring an exhibition of her racing life.

    Digby Sheperd (winning rider) (2)This year marks 150 years of racing in Windsor and celebratory events are planned to mark the milestone across the summer.

    Watch more Shetland pony racing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (11-16 May).

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