There has been a touch of royalty added to a wintry off-season race meeting in Melbourne with a horse owned by The Queen winning at Sandown.
Former English horse Bold Sniper ended a near three-year winless streak as he strode away after racing outside the leader to take out Saturday’s Le Pine Funerals Plate (2400m) by 1-1/4 lengths.
“It was a great effort and thank you to Her Majesty,” co-trainer Tom Dabernig said.
“It’s been a big thrill to get a winner for her in those famous colours.”
The colours – Purple, Gold Braid, Scarlet Sleeves, Black Velvet Cap and Gold Fringe – were worn by apprentice Dylan Dunn who said he never thought he’d have the opportunity to ride a horse for The Queen.
“When I got the call up last week I was pretty excited,” 21-year-old Dunn said.
“The boys will probably agree I had the colours on well over a race before.
“I was ready to go.”
Bold Sniper was initially with Gai Waterhouse after being sent to Australia but was transferred to David Hayes and Dabernig before his local debut, to be trained at Lindsay Park’s Euroa facility in country Victoria.
“He was a handful to train at Randwick so they thought maybe training off a farm might be a bit more what he’s used to,” Dabernig said.
“He’s been a challenging horse to train. He’s a hard-going horse but today’s the first time he’s hit a soft track and got his conditions.”
Bold Sniper’s best results during his first seven Australian starts had been fourth placings in the Naturalism Stakes and Moonee Valley Cup last spring.
He’ll continue on into winter before Dabernig said attention would turn to the spring.
Dabernig said most of the correspondence between the stable and owner was done by the Hall of Fame trainer Hayes.
“(The Queen) is very involved,” Dabernig said.
“John Warren is her racing manager, who most of the correspondence goes through. But she’s quite fascinated. She gets her You Tube videos of the horse working and David’s had the pleasure of speaking to her on the phone a couple of times.
“It’s a huge thrill for everyone involved.”