Queen beams brightly as she returns to work at Windsor
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Throughout her successful racing career, Her Majesty has won all the British Classics but one – the Derby Stakes, also known as the Epsom Derby. As this year’s race falls in the midst of the long Bank Holiday weekend next month, there were hopes the Queen would also be able to also celebrate a racing victory alongside her 70th year on the throne.
However, yesterday afternoon the Jockey Club, of which the Queen is the patron, announced all her horses seen as potential runners are out of the race.
This missed chance to win the Derby once again will surely represent a blow for the monarch and has been described as a “shame” by royal author Phil Dampier.
He wrote on Twitter: “What a great shame. #TheQueen dream of a Derby winner in her Platinum Jubilee year is over.
“As always, she will be philosophical about it.”
Another Twitter user also called the decision to pull out all the Queen’s horses from the Derby a “shame”.
mog1717 tweeted: “A shame. A win in the Jubilee year would have been fabulous.”
The joint trainer of the horse Reach For The Moon, which was seen as a race favourite, said on Tuesday morning the animal had not been able to recover from an injury fast enough to be able to enter the Derby.
Trainer Josh Gosden told the Racing Post: “Following a setback last autumn, Reach For The Moon has been given all the time and care he requires in his training programme.
“We had planned to run him in the Dante Stakes at York next week.
“However, in the best interests of [the] horse we have decided that this race is coming too soon for him.
“Consequently, he will not run in the Derby and will be pointed towards Royal Ascot.”
Punters were backing Reach For The Moon at 7-1.
The two other horses thought to enter the Derby were Educators and General Idea.
The Queen got the closest to winning the Derby in the race which took place just a few days after her coronation in 1953.
Her Majesty’s horse Aureole, bred by her late father King George VI, came in second.
One year later, that same horse won the Coronation Cup at Epsom racecourse and marked the sovereign’s first major racing victory.
It isn’t known whether the Queen will attend the Derby in person.
As she is reportedly experiencing mobility issues, royal fans have been warned it is unlikely the monarch will be present at all the engagements scheduled to take place between June 2 and June 5.
And special arrangements will likely be made to make the Queen’s attendance as comfortable as possible.
The monarch is hoped to take part in the Trooping the Colour parade, which this year returns to central London for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
However, it has been reported she may ditch the golden carriage and travel instead on a more stable and comfortable 4×4.
Other events planned for the long Bank Holiday weekend are a concert at Buckingham Palace, where the Prince of Wales is expected to deliver a speech, and street parties organised by the Big Lunch organisation.
Moreover, the Royal Family is expected to gather at St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.
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