Weather gods kind at Royal Ascot
23 Jun 2012 | Rain threatened to put a dampener on the fourth day of Royal Ascot on Friday, but the weather gods were kind and a pleasantly warm and dry afternoon was the perfect combination for racegoers.
Royal Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels admitted: “I think we’ve got away with it - the weather was better than expected.”
Stickels changed the going on both the round and straight courses to ‘Soft’ this morning, but he had no cause to do so during racing.
He said: “I’ll be looking at the ground in the morning, and if any change is needed I’ll make an announcement then. There won’t be any course changes to the rails overnight.
“We’re looking forward to a cracking day’s racing tomorrow to complete the Royal Meeting.”
A tangible sense of pleasure washed across the winner’s enclosure and packed grandstand overlooking it as The Queen greeted Estimate her winner of the Queen’s Vase.
Heartfelt cheering and applause broke out as she collected the successful owner’s trophy, which was presented by her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Speaking on behalf of Royal Ascot’s many staff, chief executive Charles Barnett said: “It is tremendous - a royal winner at Royal Ascot is very important anyway, and to witness one in Diamond Jubilee year, when the Duke of Edinburgh had agreed to present the trophy, added to the occasion. A member of the Royal Family normally presents the trophy for the Queen’s Vase, and it was very fortunate that the Duke of Edinburgh was able to do so this year.
“In addition the trophy is one of only three that is given during Royal Ascot by The Queen and which is kept by the winning owner.
“The filly pulled clear and won so impressively, but the main thing is that she won.
“The reception Her Majesty received was amazing - I’ve never seen anything like it. There was a great outflow of excitement, and while The Queen looked so calm I am sure that inwardly she was feeling very excited too.
“For me and for many other people that has been the highlight of the week.”
Royal Ascot’s clerk of the course, Chris Stickels said: “It was terrific - it always makes the meeting very special when The Queen has a winner. To see the reaction of the crowd when The Queen received her trophy was a sign of the special affection in which she is held.”
The attendance at Royal Ascot on day four of the meeting was 57,132, compared to 64,772 in 2011.