Max On Tour: A Day at the Races

29 July 2016

The sporting travels of JMC leader Maximus continue with the lovable lion's recent jaunt to watch the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - one of the world's most famous horse races.

Held at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire - around 75 miles from the Rec - the race is held in honour of Her Majesty the Queen's parents, and is one of the biggest days in the racing calendar. 

Never wishing to stick out in the crowd, the giant blue-maned Max was nonetheless allowed entry into the Royal Enclosure - opened in 1822 by King George IV as an invitation-only area - where he mingled with people wearing all kinds of peculiar hats. 

The King George, as the race is informally known, is a 'flat race'. That means there are no obstacles for the horses to jump: it is simply a test of speed and stamina measuring just over a mile. This year, the purse (another name for prize money) was worth £1.15 million. 

The winner this time around was Highland Reel, an Irish Thoroughbred, whose father (Galileo) won the race 15 years ago!  

"I thought lions were impressive animals, but seeing these horses up close has really opened my eyes to what magnificent creatures they are," said Max. "This was a memorable day out for me, and I'm now looking forward to my next trip!"


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