The first occasion the Queen attended the races in Hong Kong as at Happy Valley in 1975 when Nazakat won the inaugural QEII Cup, which was a Class 2 held on the inner sand track.
John Moore was the reigning champion trainer at the start of the 1986 season and has his own story about a letter to, and from, The Queen.
“I met Her Majesty that day in 1986, and she asked about my father George, who has recently retired as a trainer and who had ridden for her,” Moore said. “Dad had actually written to her once, apologising for being beaten on one of her horses in France, and she had written back. We still have her letter, which is essentially saying, ‘that’s racing’, it was very gracious of her.
“It is very sad to lose such a big supporter of the sport.”
HKJC chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, in his role as International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) chairman, issued a statement on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
“Her Majesty’s contributions to racing were matched only by her enthusiasm for the sport and her love of the horse,” he said.
“As a successful owner and breeder, she understood the challenges and the joys of the sport on a personal level. A number of the most prestigious races in the world are named in her honour, and over the course of her life she attended race meetings at many of the major racecourses around the globe. She will be greatly missed.”