Following the recent series of injury scares, Queen Elizabeth II’s trainers have said they expect to make a decision on Friday about whether Her Majesty will be fit for the classic Derby race at Epsom on Saturday.
The majestic royal mare has been suffering with strained withers since landing awkwardly at Haydock Park in May, and has yet to really loosen up in training canters. There would be great disappointment if the monarch is indeed unable to compete in the Derby, as the sight of Her Majesty’s steaming figure thundering around the Epsom turf has become almost synonymous with the ‘Sport of Queens’.
The Queen has an excellent sporting pedigree – few can forget her mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s spectacular victory by 30 lengths and a nose at the Gordon’s Gin Handicap at Aintree in 1964. But her trainer insisted this morning that the Queen would not race on Saturday unless fully fit. ‘If Her Majesty were to sustain a serious injury on the track it would be a tragedy for the sport,’ he explained. ‘Prince Charles is definitely not ready to take on the great horses of today, even if he did marry one. And when we tried him out in the Grand National he just kept stopping and talking to the hedges.’