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Queen praises ‘absolutely fantastic’ Cheltenham win for Rachael Blackmore

The Queen hailed a jockey’s “fantastic” win at the Cheltenham Festival after a day spent with her family at the races.

Camilla met racing royalty when she presented rider Rachael Blackmore, dubbed the “Queen of Cheltenham”, with a trophy after her emphatic victory in the day’s feature race.

Watching Blackmore’s ride Captain Guinness dig deep in heavy conditions to finish first were the Queen’s children Tom Parker-Bowles, daughter Laura Lopes and her husband Harry, alongside Camilla’ nephew Sir Ben Elliot.

The Princess Royal was also among the royal party as were Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank, and Camilla’s friend and official Queen’s Companion, Lady Sarah Keswick.

Cheltenham Festival
Owner Declan Landy, jockey Rachael Blackmore and trainer Henry De Bromhead pose for a photo with Queen Camilla (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA)

After leaving the royal box to cast her eye over the horses in the parade ring before the Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, Camilla was soon back in the winners’ enclosure to present the awards, and told the horse’s owner Declan Landy, the victory was “absolutely fantastic”.

Blackmore has won the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in recent years and triumphed in the opening race of this year’s festival, the biggest week in the jump racing calendar.

She received an emphatic reception from cheering crowds when she rode Captain Guinness into the winners’ enclosure and was announced as the “Queen of Cheltenham” over the address system.

Cheltenham Festival 2024
Queen Camilla prior to presenting the trophies (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA)

The spectacle topped a day of quality racing enjoyed by thousands of punters from both sides of the Irish Sea that left the Queen, a keen horsewoman, all smiles.

The day was billed as “Style Wednesday” by the festival organisers with the racegoers encouraged to wear sustainable fashion.

The Queen wore an Anna Valentine ensemble, brown suede skirt, matching leopard print shirt and a dark green cashmere coat, with a wide brimmed Lock & Co hat.

Among the punters were a number of celebrities including Aston Villa and England footballer Tyrone Mings and magician and gameshow presenter Stephen Mulhern.

Spotted in the parade ring before the start of a race was former army officer Mark Dyer, who acted as the Duke of Sussex’s mentor, playing the role of a supportive big brother figure for Harry after the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.