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Horse Racing

From Fox Vardy to Dillydingdillydong, how late Leicester owner Vichai’s racing legacy lives on with Royal Ascot winner

WHEN you see Fox Vardy on the racecard, there really are no prizes for guessing who owns it.

The same goes for Fox Shinji and Fox Chairman, not to mention Dillydingdillydong.

Top celebrates a Royal Ascot win in 2019 – two years later the family aim to keep late Vichai’s legacy alive with the Leicester football team and their army of horses
The Leicester owner was one of five to tragically die in a helicopter crash in October 2018

Yes, there really is a horse named after Claudio Ranieri’s unforgettable catchphrase uttered when in charge of the title-winning Leicester side of 2016.

That runner, and all the others, belong to King Power Racing, the yard owned by Foxes chairman Top Srivaddhanaprabha.

Like Leicester, Top inherited control of the yard following dad Vichai’s tragic death in a helicopter crash at the King Power stadium in October 2018.

Football, and sport in general, were plunged into mourning following that horrific incident.

But the club and Vichai’s yard have shown tremendous resilience to keep going after such a heartbreaking loss.

In fact, the racing side of things has arguably never looked better three years on.

Just look at what happened at Royal Ascot last weekend.

Amid the gloom and rain on Saturday, champion jockey Oisin Murphy, in the penultimate race on the final day of the five-day festival, surged through to land the Golden Gates Stakes.

The horse’s name? Foxes Tales.

I told you there was a pattern.

The win brought with it a £33,501 cheque.

But for this billionaire family – who ploughed more than £20million into buying the top young racehorses only to see their dad pass barely a year later – money means nothing compared to the pride of carrying on Vichai’s legacy.

It was the same in 2019.

Top was at Royal Ascot then to see Cleonte – one of the first three horses Vichai bought – win the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Clearly emotional, Top carried a photo of his dad into the winners’ enclosure as the family celebrated.

This wall in memory of Vichai – who everyone called ‘The Chairman’ – can be found at Balding’s yard

Andrew Balding, who has been involved with the Srivaddhanaprabha family from the start, said at the time: “I am so chuffed for everyone in King Power and all of the chairman’s family.

“The chairman loved Royal Ascot, that is what ignited his love of the sport so to do it here is incredible.”

How happy he would be then, to know that some of that money he spent on top talent is really coming to fruition a few years on.

Some £500,000 was spent on Queen Power and she repaid £56,710 in one go with victory at York in May.

Bangkok was another half a million quid purchase – and another decent investment, returning £554,100 from 21 races.

The Tim Easterby-trained Art Power, a four-year-old, is another Royal Ascot winner who has much more to come.

Bangkok is one of the stable stars

Murphy, here in the eye-catching blue and white silks of King Power, celebrates Royal Ascot success on Foxes Tales

Lampang, who won at big 16-1 odds at Hamilton earlier this month, is one for the tracker, as is the exciting sprinter Winter Power.

If you fancy just backing those with strong Leicester names, then keep an eye out for Top Fox, Fox Tal, Fox Champion and even Kingsofthemidlands.

Leicester shook up the footballing status quo with their shock 5000-1 triumph.

When Foxes Tales won, he was 13-2.

A bit of a difference in the odds, but every triumph means just as much when carrying on Vichai’s legacy.

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