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Her Majesty The Queen to send Carlton House to Australia’s first lady of racing

December 4, 2012

Her Majesty The Queen is set to have her first horse permanently based in Australia.

Carlton House, who runs in Sunday’s Hong Kong Cup, will join the Gai Waterhouse stable next year, with next year’s Cox Plate a likely target.

Waterhouse, who is currently on her annual end-of-year trip to the United States, tweeted this morning: “Delighted and grateful to train HM the Queen’s Dante and Brig Gerard winner, Carlton House after the colt’s HK [Cup] run this Sunday.”

It has since been confirmed The Queen will remain as owner.

The strength of Waterhouse’s imports continues to grow – she will have Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente, The Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold, Wyong Cup winner Julienas and English St Leger runner-up Michelangelo among her arsenal next year.

When combined with the likes of More Joyous, Pierro, Proisir, Driefontein, No Looking Back, Descarado, Fat Al, Laser Hawk, Tullamore and Rock ‘n’ Pop, among others, it gives her every reason to expect success in 2013.

Carlton House, however, has the potential to be the most promising of the lot of them.

A maiden winner over a mile, he won the Group 2 Dante Stakes (1m 2f) last year, beating Turnbull Stakes runner-up Seville.

That win secured him favouritism for England’s premier race, the Epsom Derby, and with a furlong to go, he looked the likely winner – but he was one-paced the last furlong, finishing third to Pour Moi and Treasure Beach.

It was a similar story at The Curragh, where he finished fourth in the Irish Derby, and it appeared he struggled to stay a strong 1m 4f, or 2400m.

This season, he returned with a strong win in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes (1m 2f) at Sandown before he met dual Cox Plate winner So You Think in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1m 2f).

He was no match for So You Think late but managed to finish second, two lengths astern.

His two runs since, though, have been very disappointing.

He finished fourth as an odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1m) before another fourth to Excelebration in the race named after his owner, the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1m).

He is set to meet a strong field in the Hong Kong Cup, including French star Cirrus des Aigles, last year’s winner California Memory, Prix du Jockey Club winner Saonois and the evergreen Alcopop.

The Queen’s famous racing colours – “purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves and black velvet cap with gold fringe” – have been carried once before in Australia, when Arabian Story finished sixth to Might and Power in the 1997 Melbourne Cup.

For racing fans, this news is set to rival the other big royal story of the morning – the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

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