QUEEN Consort Camilla has effortlessly slipped into the role of the late Queen – after Charles left her in charge of the Royal racing operation.
Legendary trainer Nicky Henderson confirmed he spoke to Camilla before Steal A March gave the King a historic first winner over jumps.
Queen Elizabeth II was renowned in the sport for her amazing knowledge of pedigrees and bloodlines.
And she was frequently on the phone with trainers, finding out how her horses were doing and when they would next be running.
In fact, John Warren, her loyal racing manager of years, said he was talking strategy with her just a few days before she passed aged 96 in September.
Henderson, the late Queen's trainer of choice for her jumps horses, was another the late monarch checked in on regularly.
After Steal A March's £13,000 win at Wincanton on Boxing Day, he revealed Camilla had now taken on that role.
Seven Barrows supremo Henderson, 72, said: "I spoke to the Queen Consort this morning. It was great and it is nice to get going."
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Steal A March's win came in a qualifier for a race at Cheltenham Festival in March.
The seven-year-old gelding, sent off 4-1 favourite, won by three-quarters-of-a-length from Stellar Magic.
The door is now open to a mega payday at the spring showpiece, where legends are made.
And Hendo said he hopes the King and Queen Consort will be there to see it.
He added: "It was (quite momentous having a first jumps winner for The King) and it gave us a lot of pleasure.
"Amazingly he wasn’t quite the last of The Queen’s winner’s but he won at Worcester on Derby Day which was Platinum Jubilee weekend.
"Everyone was trying to get a winner for The Queen that weekend but good old Steal A March jumped up, although he wasn’t the most obvious one.
"I thought we ought to try and make sure we have a runner at the Festival and that was a Pertemps qualifier I said whatever you do get qualified.
"He got the job done really well and the plan would be to go straight there.
"Hopefully the Queen Consort will be able to come to Cheltenham."
Sun Racing told you how it was always thought 'likely' Charles would leave the running of the multi-million pound racing operation to Camilla.
However, the role is expected to 'reduce over time' as the Royal yard very slowly starts to wind down.
Camilla has a love of horses and ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell – who was labelled 'a lunatic' by Queen Elizabeth II – said the Royal operation would be in 'very safe hands' under her.
He told the Racing Post: "For all that the landscape will be different moving forward, I think it's in very safe hands.
"I know first hand how much Camilla loves horses and also how much her passion for racing has grown in recent years.
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"There is clearly an indelible link between the royal family and horse racing.
"I was relieved to hear her enthusiasm, passion and appetite for it."
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