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  Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Royals revel in sport of kings
The Queen arriving at Ascot last year
The Queen arriving at Royal Ascot last year
Ascot's history owes much to the Royal family's long love affair with racing, and that passion continues through the Queen and Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother, as unofficial patron saint of National Hunt racing, has enjoyed well over 400 victories, while the Queen has chosen to focus on Flat racing.

Mother and daughter enjoyed instant success when they combined for the first and only time in the racing world.

Their first horse, Monaveen, won first time out and proved to be a talented steeplechaser before tragically being killed in a fall.

And therein lies pretty much the story of the duo's spells as owners.

The Queen Mother's winners have been over the jumps
The Queen Mother's winners have been over the jumps
The successes have been matched by disappointments.

The Queen Mother looked set for certain Grand National victory in 1956 until Devon Loch famously flopped onto his belly and allowed ESB to win.

And the Queen had seen Aureole pipped in the Derby by Pinza three years earlier.

She endured more heartache in the 2001 Oaks at Epsom when her filly Flight of Fancy was unlucky in running when finishing second to Imagine.

It would have been the Queen's first Classic winner since Dunfermline in the Oaks of 1977, at the height of her silver jubilee celebrations.

The good times, though, have seen the Queen's Highclere win at Ascot and land the French Oaks.

And Dunfermline also won another Classic in the St Leger.

More recently, both mother and daughter have scaled down the number of horses they own.

For the current Flat season the Queen has 18 horses in training, down 14 on last year when she claimed 11 winners in Britain.

And the Queen Mother's quota has been almost halved from the amount she has had in previous decades - this year she has 13 in training.

But that does not mean a waning interest in the sport of kings with the Queen still having 26 mares for breeding at Sandringham.

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