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AMONG all the news reports to emanate from the 2016 Royal Ascot Festival this week came the titbit that Prince Charles is apparently “hooked on racing”.

According to a BBC report, the Queen’s racing and bloodstock adviser John Warren made what seemed like a deliberate point in post-race media interviews of emphasising that Prince Charles “has seriously got the [racing] bug” and is “absolutely smitten”.

Prince Charles was noted to have paid more visits to the Ascot Racecourse this week and appeared alongside his mother and Sir Michael Stoute in the winners’ enclosure after the Queen’s horse Darmouth had won Saturday’s Hardwicke Stakes.

The heir to the British throne and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, owned two horses that were in action during the week.

John Warren said: “He’s trying to really learn about the whole industry. Thirty years ago, he told me that racehorse ownership was probably like gardening, and that until you owned your own garden, you never quite understand what it is all about, [then] you start to look after it and you have to concentrate.

“Coming into Ascot he said the anticipation of owning a horse to come here was so enormous, he said he couldn’t explain the feeling, and that’s what’s so marvellous; I think he’s seriously got the bug, and that’s very important for British racing.”

-www.turftalk.co.za