Without Fear & QE II in 1976
Featured Image: ‘Without Fear’, Colin Hayes and Queen Elizabeth II at Lyndsay Park on 26 February 1976
These were heady ‘Royalist’ times with imperialism not yet fully consigned to the scrap heap of history. Queen Elizabeth II has always been intensely interested in thoroughbred racing and breeding. She has enjoyed enormous success herself with some assistance from the National Stud; a unique UK institution. Isn’t it fortunate that King Charles II took such an avid interest himself and virtually ‘created’ the Newmarket myth?
In 1976 imported sire Without Fear (Baldric ex Never Too Late) was a sensation at Lyndsay Park in the Barossa Valley SA with his first crop of 2yos. He created a record then with 30 winning individuals racing in the 1975/1976 season. The record still stands despite the claims of the ‘Snitzel’ ‘set’ in season 2015/2016. Colin Hayes was the master strategist. He orchestrated the entire program. However Without Fear also produced many outstanding individuals such as champion filly ‘Dual Choice’.
The Australian Government of the day under Malcolm Fraser decided to present QE II with the slightly sycophant gift of a Without Fear yearling to celebrate her 25th jubilee as ruling monarch. It seemed like a ‘racing certainly’ at the time and sure fire success? However despite the best brains having input to its selection “Australia Fair’ subsequently proved to be an abject failure as a racehorse and something of an embarrassment with such a well-branded name?
Queen Elizabeth II was a great proponent of all matters equine including thoroughbred racehorses. Horse & Hound has documented her favourites which included 5 outstanding performers on the track. These were Aureole (1950), Doutelle (1954), Highclere (1971), Phantom Gold (1992) and Estimate (2009).