Melbourne remembers the Queen on the racetrack, in the gardens and in the pub

Victoria Racing Club chairman Neil Wilson said the Queen’s knowledge and passion for horse racing was well known and inspiring.

“Speak to anyone who spoke to her about racing, no matter who it was, whether it was Gai Waterhouse back then, Chris Waller or Bart Cummings, they would say she really understands horse racing,” he said. “So it was a very special part of her life.”

The Queen at Flemington in 1954 congratulated jockey Bill Williamson riding Sunish to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Australian Cup.

The Queen at Flemington in 1954 congratulated jockey Bill Williamson riding Sunish to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Australian Cup.Recognition:Argus Collection

The Queen first rode a horse when she was 3 years old and inherited her father, King George VI’s breeding and racing stock when she came to the throne in 1952.

“My racing philosophy is simple,” she said in a BBC documentary. TThe Queen’s Racehorses: A Personal View. “I enjoy breeding a horse that is faster than other people’s. And for me it’s a gamble from a long time ago.”

Punters Elaine Hamilton and Mary Fitzgerald both signed the book of condolences at the circuit in a bid to pay tribute to the Queen.

“She was always so dignified, no matter what turmoil was going on,” Fitzgerald said.

The Queen at Flemington.

Hamilton said the Queen has been through a lot and has remained calm through it all.

“Having four kids and then dealing with all the kids’ issues,” Hamilton said. “I think she was great.”

At the Botanical Gardens, light rain did not stop a steady stream of people from walking to the entrance of Government House throughout the day to pay their respects.

Mourners laid more than 100 bouquets of flowers by the gates and queued to sign books of condolence.

Mourners leave floral tributes to the Queen outside Government House.

Mourners leave floral tributes to the Queen outside Government House. Recognition:Justin McManus

Wreathmaker Glenn Malloch said he was “very saddened” by the Queen’s death.

“She was everybody’s grandmother, she was always there,” he says. “She did what she said when she took the throne. She gave a life of dedication and we thank her for her service.”

British-style pubs saw an influx of patrons. At Sherlock Holmes on Collins Street, owner Gary Kirwan said there had been a noticeable increase in clientele, with people specifically asking for an English pint.

“Of course our recommendation was for a London Pride,” Kirwan said.

Gary Kirwan, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Inn, pours a pint of English beer in preparation for the onslaught of customers.

Gary Kirwan, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Inn, pours a pint of English beer in preparation for the onslaught of customers. Recognition:Luis Enrique Ascui

“I suspect this trend will continue in the coming weeks.”

Kirwan said that alongside the regulars, many additional guests came to celebrate the occasion with drinks.

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“It’s a nice gesture,” he said. “There were quite a few who drank a pint in her honor.”

Di Dankert, who worked behind the bar, said everyone who entered the pub made a comment about the Queen.

“I’m very sad,” Dankert said.

“She’s been the queen for as long as I’ve lived and I’m 75 and I don’t know anything else.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/at-the-racetrack-the-gardens-and-the-pub-melbourne-remembers-the-queen-20220910-p5bh00.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Melbourne remembers the Queen on the racetrack, in the gardens and in the pub

Joel McCord

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