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Meeting between Isabel II and Mathieu Alex, it was like winning a G1

Mathieu Alex remembers his encounter with Queen Elizabeth II and his passion for racehorses

French industry has taken great pride in the fact that the Queen and her adviser John Warren chose the winner of the 2015 Acomb Stakes Recorder at Montfort et Preaux, now part of Nurlan Bizakov's Sumbe operation.

While it's still early in his stallion career, Galileo's son has already given Mathieu Alex and Sylvain Vidal's Montfort et Preaux team some unforgettable experiences, including one Alex describes as "the equivalent of having a Group 1 winner."

Alex says: "We were invited to meet the Queen during the royal meeting in June after her first season with us.

"They explained the protocol to us and then we went up at tea time to a large room with maybe 30 people, including William Haggas, Sir Michael Stoute and many of his other coaches, while the Queen was sitting at a table.

One of the secrets of the Queen's success in talking to people from so many different walks of life may have been how well traveled she was during the 70 years of her reign.

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Alex says: "We talked about horse and talked about Normandy and about the area where the farm is, a restaurant near us in Orbec and when Sylvain and I left the Royal Box we both had the feeling that we had just won a Group 1. It was a magical moment."

While Alex and Vidal will always be the ones who brought the Queen's stallion to Normandy, he is quick to pay tribute to David Somers' work on the Royal Studs, Warren and also the man who made the original suggestion.

"In the months that followed we went to see the Recorder horse. We knew it was a horse that the Queen adored and I think the fact that he was raised at home meant that she adored him even more. It's a wonderful story."

Recorder's future development as a stallion will be guided by Bizakov's senior lieutenant, Tony Fry.

Fry believes there is still something better to come from this "wonderful story," especially since trainers have begun to better understand how to exploit the skills of the progeny of a horse whose trainer, Haggas, was considered a Guineas and even a Derby prospect before the injury intervened.

Fry adds: "Recorder is a lovely horse to deal with, it has always been well received and it is good to be able to have a horse like him on the farm which offers an opportunity to people of that level, his fee in 2022 was €4,000."

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