Odds-on favourite Educator finishes second at Salisbury
First horse to run in King Charles III royal silks
Trained by William Haggas and ridden by Tom Marquand
As Britain’s second oldest racecourse, Salisbury, where they have been racing since 1584, has seen a few kings and queens in its time.
It also boasts the oldest building on a racecourse in the world, the ‘rubbing house’ where legendary horses Eclipse and Gimcrack were once washed down after racing. On Thursday Educator made history of a different kind as the first runner for King Charles III in the Royal silks but he is, alas, no Eclipse or Gimcrack.
It was not quite the result the Salisbury crowd wanted, and for the couple who have inherited the famous colours, more a salutary lesson in racehorse ownership; the colt, the 11-10 favourite, could only finished a disappointing four and a quarter lengths second to Okeechobee in the Radcliffe and Co Handicap Stakes.
Although he was clapped into the paddock as he came out to ride Educator, Tom Marquand was unable to work his magic this time and the handsome colt’s only victory was in the ‘best turned out’ competition.
Despite getting a nice lead from Belloccio in the mile and a quarter race around the downland course on the Race Plain, a hill between Wilton and Salisbury, the writing was on the wall some way out for favourite backers and, if they were watching on television, the King and Queen.
Lacking a little focus Educator jumped a track and Marquand was getting a limited return for his investment in the saddle as Okeechobee, who had given the King’s colt every chance by over-racing for much of the way, came home a clear cut winner under one of the late Queen’s favourite jockeys, Ryan Moore. Ironically the winner was also trained by one of her trainers, Roger Charlton.
Educator, meanwhile, battled on stoically for second.
Having owned racehorses for over 70 years, the late Queen took all the vicissitudes of racehorse ownership in her stride and if there was one positive to take from this race it is that the King and Queen will not be spoiled by having had a winner with their first runner when, and if, they sit down to watch their second, Perfect Alibi, at Ascot on Friday.
“Everyone wanted a winner to get His Majesty off to a good start,” said Marquand. “But it was a good introduction to racing in that things don’t always go to plan with a short-priced favourite.”
Speaking about pulling on the Royal silks Marquand said he felt a ‘bit of sadness.’
“All I’ve known is the Queen,” he pointed out. “Now it has passed on to the King, it is fantastic, they are continuing her legacy but it was a passion project for her. It would have been a shame to have ended it.”
He added that he has met the King once at Royal Ascot. “It’s not the magical start but I hope to ride him many winners in the future.”
John Warren, the King’s racing adviser, said Educator, having his first run since picking up an injury winning at Newmarket in April 170 days ago, lacked a little concentration. “We’ve always thought of him as a pretty decent horse and still think of him at home of being a decent animal but he needs to prove it on the course.
“He just needs racing now. He’ll strip much fitter next time and be more focused. He’ll know his job better. He was distracted today. When he won we thought he should have won further. We thought we were ahead of the handicapper but he only just does enough. William had him in the Derby and we felt he was a stakes level horse.”
As the days begin to shorten and the 2022 Flat season begins to draw to a conclusion the direction, if it has even been decided, of the royal racing stable is still not clear but for Salisbury, at least, it was a cracking end to the season with the 2,500 crowd up 25 percent on expectation. There may have been potential champions lurking on its last card of the year but, alas, it is unlikely they were in the Radcliffe and Co Handicap Stakes.
King Charles narrowly misses out on maiden win
A half-brother to St Leger hero Logician, Okeechobee looks a smart prospect judged on this ready win for Ryan Moore, Harry & @RogerCharlton & @JuddmonteFarms @salisburyraces
Educator, the first horse to run for King Charles III in the Royal silks finishes second pic.twitter.com/6oor5CVrJs
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 29, 2022
The race in pictures..
Tom Marquand has to settle for second...
Educator became the first runner for the King in the famous royal silks at Salisbury.
While His Majesty has previously had runners in the colours he shared with the Queen Consort when they were the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, it is the first time the famous purple, red and gold silks took to the track in his name.
The William Haggas-trained Educator was the first horse to race in the colours since Improvise was beaten a short-head at Epsom on September 8, the same day the Queen died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.
Once viewed as a Derby hopeful, the three-year-old had been off the track since winning a Newmarket handicap back in April but was sent off the 11-10 favourite on his return in the Radcliffe & Co Handicap.
Educator travelled well enough through the early part of the race, but with three furlongs to run Marquand was pushing along to keep up as Okeechobee cruised into the lead.
Roger and Harry Charlton's runner went on to win by four and a quarter lengths in impressive fashion, with Educator staying on for minor honours
Sailsbury has ushered in a new era
4.54 Sailsbury results
1. (3) Okeechobee
J: Ryan Moore
T: Harry & Roger Charlton
2. (4) Educator
J: Tom Marquand
T: William Haggas
3. (4) Gloucestershire (USA)
J: Richard Kingscote
T: Freddie & Martyn Meade
4. (2) Belloccio (FR)
J: David Egan
T: David Menuisier
Here is the three-year-old colt bred
Jockey Tom Marquand given the nod for the historic ride at Salisbury
Tom Marquand rides the King’s first runner Educator, who’s trained by William Haggas, at Salisbury in the 4.54pm over 1m2f.
It’s going to be a close match-up between two three-year-olds Okeechobee, in the Juddmonte colours ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Harry & Roger Charlton.
King Charles III’s horse won last time out in April by a nose and given this break should be fresh and showing plenty of improvement since that run.
The Deep Impact colt is aiming for a third win in a row and could even appreciate further trip in time, just like his sire from Japan.
Educator has been well-backed this afternoon from odds against to a clear odds-on favourite where value is slowly running out.
Queen Elizabeth was flat racing's greatest champion
The late Queen was one of the most prominent British owner-breeders of thoroughbreds, the owner of Ascot racecourse and one of its most knowledgeable and passionate enthusiasts.
Our racing correspondent Marcus Armytage takes a look on how racing was the one constant through the ups and downs of her reign, while she was racing’s one constant through its trials and tribulations.
Not a bad looking race card..
The one-time Derby hope, who met with a small setback after winning first time out at Newmarket in April, is one of just four runners contesting the Radcliffe and Co Handicap Stakes, worth £11,500 to the winner, at Salisbury this afternoon.
King Charles III is continuing the late Queen's "lifelong passion" for horseracing as he takes ownership of her racehorses, with his first runner at Salisbury this afternoon.
Educator will be the first horse to run in the sole ownership of The King at the Wiltshire track.
The sport seems to be entering into a new era, as the monarch sees his first runner in the royal silks. It had previously been thought Queen Consort Camilla, who owns a home in Wiltshire, would lead the royal thoroughbred operation.
The colt will carry the Queen's purple, scarlet and gold braided colours. Trained by William Haggas, who attended the Queen's funeral at Windsor, Educator will be the first horse to race in her famous silks since September 8, the day the Queen died at her Balmoral estate.
The three-year-old was originally one of Her Majesty's entries for the 2022 Derby at Epsom, which was a key event on the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Educator is set to run in the 4.54pm Radcliffe & Co Handicap at the season finale in Salisbury.
British Horseracing Authority chairman Joe Saumarez Smith said in a statement: “The loss of Her late Majesty was keenly felt within the racing and breeding industries given her lifelong passion for the sport, and so we are naturally thrilled to see that the horses previously owned by her will race on in the ownership of His Majesty King Charles III.
“Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II left an indelible mark on our sport and her legacy will continue to be felt, not only through the horses that will continue to run in the name of King Charles III but also those she bred who are yet to be seen on the racecourse in the years to come. We wish Educator and King Charles III the very best of luck and keenly look forward to further successes in those famous Royal silks on British racecourses.”
Tom Marquand will be aboard Educator in the Radcliffe & Co Handicap over 1m 2f told Sky Sports Racing: “Having ridden for the Queen they will remain some of the proudest moments of my career for the entirety of it. Riding the first runner (for the King) is a moment to cherish as well.
Join us from 4pm