The Duchess of Cornwall’s fur trimmed hat confounded the bookies today at the Cheltenham festival by coming in first at 100/1 in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Camilla arrived at the sporting event looking stylish in a brown tweed skirt and coat by Roy Allen and the 3 year old light brown, fur-trimmed hat trained by Sarah Locke. After walking through the crowds, and into the parade ring, betting fell from 25/1 to 100/1 with tipsters doubtful that Camilla’s hat would contend with the soft conditions.
Jockey, Jamie Moore struggled to hold onto his mount as the jaunty hat was forced into the starting block without blinkers. Then as they got under way the hat took advantage of its outside position, jostling into third place behind the strongly fancied Pippa’s Ass and the favourite, Phil’s Faux Pas. Despite the daunting odds it went on to win by two lengths and a rather fetching silver badger hat pin.
Camilla’s son, Tom Parker Bowles said, “Mummy’s hat was a complete outsider and she was undecided whether or not to enter it into the Queen Mother Chase. She had considered entering a 3 year old pair of Gilda and Pearl knickers instead but her trainer was worried they might pull up before the end of the race.”
Rupert Adams, from bookmaker William Hill, said Camilla's hat had never been a firm favourite and the decision to enter it was a brave one, especially going on its previous form. “It got nowhere at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2013, throwing a disgruntled Zara Phillips headfirst into the mud at the famous Deer Feeder fence and then, at Goodwood it pulled up for a drink at the Pimms tent and got wasted for the rest of the day.”
Camilla was "delighted" to win and was presented with a matching fur stole which was placed around her neck before the ceremony. The stole and hat are now likely to be put out to stud in anticipation of producing another championship item of clothing for the Duchess.