THE QUEEN’S secret career and how she ‘changed horse racing history’ with just nine words has finally been revealed.
Her late Majesty, who died in September aged 96, has been labelled a ‘brilliant’ bloodstock agent and top negotiator.
GettyThe late Queen ‘changed racing history’ with her role in selling a top racehorse to the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed[/caption]
Queen Elizabeth II‘s behind-the-scenes role in facilitating the transfer of a top horse to the ruler of Dubai has only now come to light some 37 years on.
But its impact altered the shape of racing and continues to this day.
It all started in 1985, when Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed said he wanted Irish Oaks winner Helen Street for his own breeding operation.
His intention was to use her as a broodmare when her racing career finished with the hope of producing more top runners.
But Helen Street’s owners, the late Lord Weinstock and Sir Michael Sobell, were reluctant to sell.
Hugh Anderson, who runs Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, revealed how the late Queen stepped in to defuse the situation.
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He is quoted in the Racing Post as saying: “The Queen was a superb rider, breeder, owner, form analyst, pedigree expert – that’s a given – but did you know she was also a rather brilliant bloodstock agent?
“I can verify this outlandish assertion, don’t worry.
“Back in 1985 the outstanding filly Helen Street, who was owned by Lord Weinstock and Michael Sobell, was coming to the end of her racing career.
“She was a Classic winner and had an impeccable pedigree, and one would have assumed she was destined to retire to Ballymacoll Stud.
“In those days, Darley (Godolphin’s breeding operation) was really getting going.
“However, there was a clear wish to add the beautifully bred Helen Street, but this was easier said than done.”
Anderson went onto explain how her owners – two giants of business and industry – were determined to drive a hard bargain for their prized asset.
But the Racing Post say the late Queen ‘changed racing history’ when she intervened one autumn day at Ascot.
Anderson added: “Suffice to say that there was much speculation within this distinguished group of owners about the future of Helen Street, but everything was stopped in its tracks with the Queen uttering the immortal words, ‘If I may, please, can I propose a solution?’
“I’m not going to relay in any detail precisely what that solution was but this was the outcome.
“Darley acquired Helen Street and she went on to produce Street Cry, winner of the Dubai World Cup and sire of Winx, as well as Helsinki, the dam of Shamardal, one of our greatest stallions.
“It was a good deal, to say the least, and on behalf of Godolphin the least I can say is thank you very much, Ma’am.”
PRODUCED A TITAN
Godolphin is now arguably the world’s global racing powerhouse.
In Britain this year alone their runners have won £8million on the Flat, with Coroebus’ 2000 Guineas win and Naval Crown’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes victory at Royal Ascot among the big earners.
The late Queen’s own racing operation has shrunk somewhat since her passing – with fears her National Stud could ‘become a museum’.
Her horses now run under King Charles – and he made more than £1m selling 14 of his mother’s beloved runners in October.
The King was reported to be looking to axe the role of his mother’s right-hand man and boss of her yard John Warren, too.
Royal fans have begged Charles to give Zara Tindall a prominent role in the day-to-day running of the operation given her knowledge of horses.
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