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Queen heartbreak as chances of 'fairytale success' at Derby slashed after horse injury

NewsQueen heartbreak as chances of 'fairytale success' at Derby slashed after horse injury


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Her Majesty was surely hoping to top off celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee with her first-ever win at the Derby, taking place on June 4 in the midst of the long bank holiday weekend filled with events marking her 70th year on the throne. However, it was revealed today the horse considered one of the favourites at the Derby – Reach For The Moon – has withdrawn from the race.

One of the animal’s trainers, John Gosden, said the horse hasn’t been able to recover from an injury in time to attend the race.

Reach For The Moon was generally 7-1 third favourite and the most likely to be able to win the race among the horses the Queen is to enter in the Derby.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Mr Gosden said: “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.

queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

One of the Queen’s horses won’t be able to race at the Epsom Derby in June (Image: GETTY)

queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The Queen and John Warren at Epsom Derby in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

“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.”

The two other royal horses entered in the Derby are Educators and General Idea, both trained by William Haggas.

While they are keeping the Queen’s dream to achieve a victory at the Derby alive, these two horses have yet to gain a major win in their career.

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queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The Queen hoping for a win in Newbury in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

Commenting on the news, the editor-in-chief at Royal Central, Charlie Proctor, wrote on Twitter: “The Queen’s horse, Reach For The Moon, has withdrawn from the Derby after a setback.

“He was fancied to provide fairytale success in the race for Her Majesty.

“But horses are athletes, not machines. Nobody will be more understanding of this than HMQ.”

During her decades as a horse breeder and keen racing fan, the monarch has won all the British Classics with the exception of the Derby.

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queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The Queen and John Warren after her victory at Royal Ascot in 2013 (Image: GETTY)

queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The Queen is a keen horse racing fan (Image: GETTY)

Her Majesty came the closest to a victory in 1953, just four days after her Coronation Day at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen chose to enter as her first runner in the Derby Aureole, bred by her late father King George VI, which eventually finished second.

In the following year, the horse helped the Queen gain her first major victory at the racecourse with a triumph in the Coronation Cup.

The Queen continues to take a keen interest in her horses despite her advancing age.

queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The longest-serving British monarchs (Image: EXPRESS)

During her mini-break to Sandringham last month, the monarch was spotted being driven to the stables by her racing manager John Warren.

Mr Warren famously was at the sovereign’s side in 2013, when she won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with the horse Estimate.

As she is believed to be experiencing mobility issues, it is unlikely the Queen will take part in many events planned for the June 2-5 bank holiday weekend.

But it has been reported aides are planning arrangements which would make it easier for the sovereign to head to the Epsom racecourse.

queen news epsom derby horse injury reach for the moon platinum jubilee weekend

The Queen at Epsom Derby in 1953 (Image: GETTY)

Another event the monarch may be attending with a twist is the Trooping the Colour parade, as it has been claimed the Queen may ditch the carriage ride for a more comfortable drive in a 4×4 car.

The sovereign will likely appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And, it has been claimed, she wants to be surrounded by her wider family on that occasion, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.



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