So The Queen duly arrived, blissfully unaware of the public servants strike which might otherwise have impeded the Royal Carriage on its way across the downs of Windsor Forest to the spanking new Millennium grandstand, were this racing spectacle being staged in South Africa. Never mind, Your Majesty, we promise to have all those ills behind us come World Football Cup in 2010. Thank heavens the fellows building the new stadiums aren’t part of the civil service.

Only yesterday, as we sat down to script the propaganda for the new Sires brochure, we were marveling at the remarkable starts made by Malhub’s principal protagonists (or is it antagonists?) in that vintage (by European standards) year of sprinters, when all of Malhub, Johannesburg, Invincible Spirit and Kyllachy went head-to-head for the Champions mantle in four Group Ones. Johannesburg is the leading stallion of his generation in the USA, Invincible Spirit tops the charts in Europe, and this afternoon at Ascot, Kyllachy had the 1st and 3rd past the post in the opener, the Group 3 Jersey Stakes.

Malhub, who’s first crop are just yearlings, is the one horse common to all four of those Group Ones that defined the ultimate divisional leader. He ran first or second in all of them, never beaten more than half a length. Quite what, as a son of Kingmambo, he is doing in County Mooi River, as opposed to Sheikh Hamdan’s County Norfolk farm, we don’t know, but we keep pinching ourselves that he is here.