The Queen tested positive for COVID-19 on February 20 but had welcome reason to smile as interesting prospect Kincardine justified odds bias in her childhood hurdle girls 2 1/16 miles away in Newbury.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the positive test result and said the king was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms” but the 95-year-old is expected to continue with her “light duties” at Windsor next week.
Coached by Nicky Henderson, Kincardine was sent off at 4-6 and went all out to beat Super Duper Sam in 4 and a half seconds.
The 5-year-old, also bred by the Queen, won a bumper at Southwell at his debut in May and came in third behind candidate Ballymore Novices’ Stage Star at Newbury in November.
“I hope the winner puts a smile on the Queen’s face and I hope she doesn’t feel too bad,” Henderson said. “I believe Kincardine has a bright future and he will make a good catcher in a year’s time.
“He’s going to want three miles and he’s done well to win this distance. He’s not a two-miler but under these conditions you have to stay healthy.”
Speaking to Racing TV after Kincardine’s breakthrough win over the hurdles, the coach added: “We are all very sad to hear that Your Majesty has COVID. I don’t know if it is the COVID drug or not. But I hope so.”
“We always knew it was going to be tough and I didn’t really want to go back two miles with him. There was a pretty competitive race at Ascot on Saturday over 2 and a half miles, which looked good and was an option, but we decided to go because of this girlhood.
“On this ground, it’s been far enough for him. It’s hard work but he likes it and handles it well. This is just practice and he’ll make a three-mile chase. I hope he can be a pretty smart guy.”
Nicky Henderson coaches Newbury Kincardine winners for the Queen
The Queen, who celebrated three winners from 17 runners this season, also succeeded with Rapid Flight in May.
Her biggest successes have all come from the apartment, and she hit six model races last year, most notably the Betway Solario Stakes (G3) with Reaching for the Moon and William Hill Summer Stakes (G3) with Adjust the light .