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Queen at the National Stud in Kildare

Prince Phillip tuirns the speed up for young jockey

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Queen at the National Stud in Kildare

Prince Phillip cheekily told an apprentice jockey to hit the gas during his visit to Ireland’s National Stud in Kildare.

Queen Elizabeth, a racing addict, and her husband were enthralled by the stud farm that has produced some of Ireland’s most famous race horses.

Part of their guided tour included an introduction to young jockeys from the nearby Irish Racing Academy at the Curragh race course.

Teenager Sophie Ralston was commissioned to demonstrate the horse simulator used to train the next generation of champion Irish jockeys like Ruby Walsh and Johnny Murtagh, who was present on the day.

As the 18-year-old Ralston rode the imitation horse, Prince Phillip encouraged her to turn the speed up to full tilt.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney revealed: “He insisted on turning the horse simulator up to full gallop. That was a bit mischievous.”

The Queen’s visit to the National Stud was followed by tours of the Aga Khan’s own stud farm on Thursday while her Friday itinerary included a stop-off at the world famous Coolmore Stud.

Her interest in Irish racing on all levels has been welcomed by the industry according to Minister Coveney who accompanied the Queen to the National Stud.

“Horse racing is part of what it means to be Irish and an important industry for us here,” said Coveney.

“I think there are two phases to the visit. The first two days were very much about the emotive history of the two islands, reconciliation and moving forward and respecting the history. I think the Queen did that in an extraordinarily generous way.

“I think the second half of this visit is I hope more relaxing and she’s very interested in racing and horse breeding.”

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