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The Queen's Face Lit Up' With Mention of Recorder


Two things have shone through in all the tributes paid to the late Queen Elizabeth II by the racing and breeding community: her deep knowledge of the subject and how approachable she was when the French industry has taken immense pride in the fact that the Queen and her adviser John Warren chose to stand 2015 Acomb Stakes winner Recorder at Montfort & Préaux, now part of Nurlan Bizakov's Sumbe operation.

« We were invited to meet the Queen during the royal meeting in Juneafter his first season standing with us. We had the protocol explained to us and then went up at tea time to a large room with perhaps 30 people, including William Haggas, Sir Michael Stoute, and manyof her other trainers, while the Queen was seated at a table. She stood up—everyone did—and then John Warren said: 'Mathieu, come with me.' The Queen left the room, followed by John Warren and then Sylvain and I. The four of us went off to a small side room. We had prepared a book with photos of the horse and also the farm, which we presented her with. »

« I saw an interview on French television with someone who described a meeting with the Queen and he expressed exactly what I felt on this occasion. There was a lot of protocol and formality in the larger group. But the moment we were in that smaller room, and we mentioned the name of Recorder and gave her the book, her face lit up and it was like I was talking with my grandmother. »

« Of course, she knew the horse's pedigree inside out and we spoke about his dam and his second dam. But there was a real simplicity to the conversation. She told us about his breaking and even how he was named. Very quickly I forgot I was speaking to the Queen, she was just a person who shared the same passion for horses. »

One of the secrets to the Queen's success in talking to people from so many different walks of life may have been just how well-traveled she was over the 70 years of her reign.

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