A HORSE trainer in Australia who was 'in weekly contact' with the Queen will attend her funeral on Monday.
Chris Waller is a legendary figure Down Under but hardly a household name to fans on these shores.
His best runner was Winx, the highest-earning horse ever with more than £14million to her name and a world-record 28 Group 1s.
Her Majesty's love of racing is well known and one of her horses, Chalk Stream, a four-year-old gelding, is at Waller's stables.
The Sydney-based trainer, 49, and wife Stephanie gave the Queen – who is expected to leave her racing empire worth millions to Queen Consort Camilla – a shoe from Winx's final win during a lunch at Royal Ascot one year.
Waller was back at the Berkshire track this summer to see superstar sprinter Nature Strip win the King's Stand Stakes but the Queen was not in attendance.
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The trainer said he became 'slightly concerned' of her health when he was unable to speak to her on the Saturday before she passed away peacefully aged 96, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Waller told Sky News: "It is a huge honour, overwhelming [to go the funeral]. I've been inundated with messages and well wishes.
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"It's just a very humbling experience that's about to take place, all for an amazing lady I had the pleasure of meeting a few times and chatting to on the phone.
"She could relate to every single person in the world.
"It's a very sad moment but we're all in awe of what she's done for everybody and the leader she's been."
Explaining his chats with the Queen, who is expected to have 500 world leaders and dignitaries at her funeral, Waller explained: "I train a horse for her and when she races normally there'd be a phone call afterwards.
"When I've been to the UK I've spent some time with her, just small visits… one day a little bit longer.
"She just made you feel so warm talking to her on the phone or in her company.
"She's entered so many people's hearts, their parents, their grandparents – what a matriarch she's been."
Recalling one memorable experience in particular, Waller said: "I was with her one day and one of her corgis was there.
"She grabbed a cracker off the table, broke it in half, gave me half and gave the corgi the other!
"There was always a warm conversation and she was just a beautiful, beautiful lady."
Waller, one of ten 'everyday' Australians invited to the state funeral, said Chalk Stream is set to run again in ten days.
It remains to be seen which UK trainers will be in attendance.
The Queen's best-known trainers would include Sir Michael Stoute, who trained her 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate.
In recent years she has had many winners on the Flat with the likes of Andrew Balding and John Gosden, while Nicky Henderson saddled more than 60 winners for her over jumps.
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