PERHAPS the Queen was tempted to take a look from one of the windows of Buckingham Palace as Isle of Wight race king Henry McLuckie stormed to junior race victory joy in the Vitality Westminster Mile in front of thousands of spectators.

Following his outstanding win at the recent British Three-Mile Championship in London, at U17 level, the young talent produced two more quality performances in the space of four days — his biggest in the shadow of the royal residence on The Mall.

Isle of Wight County Press: Henry McLuckie with his salver for winning the U17 race, outside Buckingham Palace.Henry McLuckie with his salver for winning the U17 race, outside Buckingham Palace.

As part of the Westminster Mile, Henry lined up in the Junior British Athletics One Mile Championships, racing in his U17 age group, along with athletes in the U20 event.

One of the race favourites in a quality field, Henry’s race tactics were spot on as he bided his time on the outside of the lead pack, waiting for some of the faster starters to fade.

As they approached the three-quarter mile marker, Henry, just turned 17, darted through a gap between two of the leading contenders and cranked up the pace, making it quite a challenge for his race rivals to respond to.

From that point, Henry used his trademark fast finishing speed for a comfortable win — giving a suitably royal wave to the crowd as he crossed the tape outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, clocking 4mins 17secs.

What made his victory sweeter was he also beat the top junior athletes in the U20 age group.

“It was amazing to finish the way I did in front of Buckingham Palace,” said an ecstatic Henry, a member of the Isle of Wight Athletic Club.

“Everything went to plan. I wanted to sit in with the pack for the first 800m and then kick on once other runners began to tire.

“Although I finished about two metres clear of the second-placed runner, I still had plenty in the tank if he had seriously challenged me.”

With a busy summer of track racing ahead, Henry aims to put himself in contention for a place in the Great Britain Junior Team, to compete in the European Championships in Sweden next month.

Selection will be difficult, with standards very high — the qualifying time for 3,000m being 8mins 20secs.

But three days later, fatigued from his efforts in London, he achieved just that in coming third in the British Milers Club (BMC) meeting in Brighton on a cold, wet night — completing four fabulous days with a hard-earned 8mins 17.92secs.

“It was very important for me to get that time. I’m really pleased, especially as the conditions weren’t good,” added Henry.

“I am definitely pleased with my progress under coach, Geoff Watkin, and especially being able to train with the likes of Matt Sharp and Dan Eckersley helps.”

His performance, his last as an U17, as he steps up to U20 level, has seen him become the European and British number one at U18 level and the joint fourth European at U20.

Henry’s superb time in Brighton is no guarantee of selection for Sweden, but should he race well in the 3,000m BMC race in Watford on June 29, GB selectors would find it almost impossible to overlook him.

Henry’s next event will be in the 5,000m race in the Loughborough BMC on Saturday, June 15.