King Charles makes historic first trip to Doncaster racecourse as his horse aims to break 46-year curse and win St Leger

KING Charles has hot-stepped it from Scotland to Doncaster to see his superstar horse try to end 46 years of hurt.

The Royal Family have not won a Classic since The Queen claimed the St Leger with Dunfermline in 1977.

PAKing Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at Doncaster racecourse to see their horse Desert Hero run in the St Leger[/caption]

PAThe King looked to be loving the show as Desert Hero, the horse his late mother bred and left to him, prepared for the St Leger[/caption]

Wonderful to see!

His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla chat to some of the @DoncasterRaces racegoers ahead of the St Leger… pic.twitter.com/iBneUjvcND

— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 16, 2023

Now Desert Hero, a three-year-old colt trained by William Haggas, will look to break the curse – although the signs are not looking good.

Desert Hero, who has won his past two races, is drifting in the market with punters backing Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous.

Although Haggas insisted: “He’s up for it.”

Mind you, Desert Hero was 18-1 when winning at Royal Ascot so an upset could still be on the cards.

He reduced the monarch to tears that day and Queen Camilla was overjoyed too.

The couple – who shook the hands of punters in the parade ring – arrived at Donny around an hour before the big race at 3.35pm.

The King had been at Cumnock in Scotland earlier in the day but made it to the track for the first time in his life on time.

ITV footage showed royal racing advisor John Warren chatting to the King as he made his way out onto a balcony to take in the course.

The timing of this year’s race – worth more than £420,000 to the winner – could not be more poignant either, coming a year after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

Haggas is the man tasked with having the thoroughbred in peak condition while Tom Marquand, husband of fellow rider Hollie Doyle, will be in the saddle.

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Marquand recently rode his 1,000th winner but then followed it up by riding the shortest-priced loser in British history at 1-25 on a horse appropriately named Doom.

Haggas recently joked that meant the pair had already made history this season.

But the duo know victory for Desert Hero would be a story that extends far beyond the world of racing.

Haggas, whose wife Maureen is legendary late jockey Lester Piggott’s daughter, said even owners of the other horses in the race would be happy if the Royals won.

He told QIPCO British Champions Series: “Desert Hero winning would mean the world to everyone in our industry.

“We have been fortunate for so long to have such stoic Royal patronage, and anything that can enhance that will be good.

“As much as we all want to win, I think even connections of the other runners would enjoy a victory for the King and the Queen.”

Standing in the way, though, will be the likes of Frankie Dettori.

The world’s most famous jockey will race in his final St Leger as part of his global farewell tour – after which he’ll rent out his Newmarket mansion for £15,000 a month and travel the world.

A last-minute switch sees him get the leg up on Arrest, while Ryan Moore, arguably the world’s greatest jockey, will ride favourite Continuous.

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