Huge changes to Epsom Derby planned for Queen’s Jubilee weekend as she returns to watch beloved race from Royal Box

ALL the stops are being pulled out to ensure the Queen can attend the Epsom Derby on her Jubilee in an attempt to make the "ultimate fairytale ending" come true.

The traditional blueprint for her visits has been ditched and every effort is being made to minimise strain on her limited mobility – with the hope the horse-mad monarch can finally watch a winner romp home in her favorite race.

Her Maj, who turns 96 tomorrow, is traditionally driven down the race track to make a short five-metre walk into the Queen’s Stand.

But this year she is expected to be dropped next to the entrance and out of public view so that she can take the lift, with assistance if necessary, to the Royal Box in as few steps as possible.

The passionate horse lover, who has only missed the Derby four times in 75 years, has ensured three of her best horses could compete in the race – giving her the best chance yet of bagging the trophy.

None of the Queen's thoroughbreds have ever won the prestigious event – with her closest shave with victory coming just four days after her coronation in 1953 when Aureole, who was bred by her father, was pipped to the post.


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Legendary jockey Willie Carson told The Sun that everyone involved in the sport is desperate for the “fairytale” ending to happen for the Queen.

He said: "You never know. Him upstairs might just think it's about time she had a Derby winner.

"She's never had a Derby winner, she had the second with Aureole in 1953. I remember when I got my OBE at Buckingham Palace.

"I was honoured to get that, of course.

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"The Queen was doing the handing over. I walked up to her and said, 'Ma'am, I think I'll win The Derby for you next year. I've found one'. He didn't. He finished fifth.

"He was a very good horse, but he wasn't good enough to win The Derby."

There are special plans in place for a 40-man guard of honour to be made up of the Queen’s jockeys past and present donned out in her purple and gold racing silks.

The Queen’s stand will also be renamed the Queen Elizabeth II stand as another special touch on Derby day, June 4.

A source said that plans are in place for the Queen to take as "few steps as possible" in case her mobility is bad on the day.

They added: “It is unlikely she will make the short walk that she has made in previous years, but the guard of honor will line that area and the national anthem will still be sung in full voice.

"She probably won’t present the trophy as she usually does either.


"Conversations are constantly ongoing regarding her mobility, but she could be driven directly to the entrance of the stand and take the lift to the Royal Box.

"She could then sit in the box on a balcony.

"Everyone wants to make it extra special this year and it will be the best chance for members of the public to see her so we expect a huge buzz around the Downs."

The Derby – known as the world’s greatest and most prestigious Flat race – is the only one of the five ‘Classics’ Her Majesty is yet to win as a racehorse owner.

It is hoped that Her Majesty, who is Patron of The Jockey Club, will also have a runner in this year’s Cazoo Derby, with three horses currently entered in the race – Educator, General Idea and Reach For The Moon.

A victory for Her Majesty would be only the second time a reigning monarch has won The Derby, after Minoru in 1909 who ran for King Edward VII.

Sam Boswell of bookmakers BetVictor explains how the public get behind a Royal runner in big races.

He said: “The Queen’s horses always attract interest whatever the level of racing, but with events like the Derby we really see the impact of her influence on the sport.

"In 2011 she owned the Derby third Carlton House who was sent off the well supported 5/2 favourite. This year Reach For The Moon looks her best chance of claiming glory, his two wins and three seconds last season have him installed as a 10/1 chance for the Derby.

"At this stage she also has Newmarket winner Educator 40/1 and the once raced General Idea both 66/1 entered in the most prestigious Flat race on the calendar.”

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