Jockeys' Guard Of Honour For The Queen On Derby Day

Franny Norton, John Reid, David Probert, Hayley Turner and James Doyle in The Queen's colours at Epsom | Hoycubed Photography

As part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Britain, Her Majesty The Queen will be given a guard of honour of 40 retired and current jockeys on her arrival at Epsom on Cazoo Derby Day.

The Derby meeting on June 3 and 4 falls within an extended bank holiday weekend which will feature countrywide celebrations to mark the Queen's 70th anniversary on the throne. Epsom Downs Racecourse will further honour the occasion by renaming the Queen's Stand as The Queen Elizabeth II Stand.

The Derby is the only one of the five British Classics which has not been won by The Queen. In 1977, the year of her Silver Jubilee, she won the Oaks and the St Leger with Dunfermline (GB) (Royal Palace {GB}). That filly's jockey Willie Carson, now 79 and himself a Classic-winning breeder, will be among the guard of honour on Derby day. 

He said, “[The Queen] is the patron of racing. Without her we would be a little bit lost, because her patronage is a very valuable thing.

“It's not just the horseracing she enjoys, she enjoys the breeding side of it. She likes to know from trainers how the horse is behaving and its attitude, its temperament. She wants to know those things. That's what she's really interested in. The winning post is the end result and she enjoys that, of course, but she enjoys everything before you get to the winning post. That gives her the most pleasure.”

The Queen last had a runner in the Derby in 2011 when Carlton House finished third to Pour Moi (Ire). She has three homebreds remaining among the entries for this year's race–the G3 Solario S. winner Reach For The Moon (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), last week's Newmarket winner Educator (GB) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), and General Idea (GB) (Galileo {Ire}). A reigning monarch has won the Derby only once, when Minoru (Ire) triumphed in 1909 for King Edward VII.

Phil White, London regional director of The Jockey Club, said, “We are absolutely delighted that this year's Cazoo Derby will be a part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations and excited and proud to be able to take the opportunity to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her enormous contribution to horseracing over many, many years.”

He continued, “We know that The Queen intends to be with us on the day and to mark her arrival at the racecourse we will form a guard of honour of around 40 retired and current jockeys all dressed in Her Majesty's silks. We're also inviting members of the local community and some local charities to support the guard of honour as flag-bearers.

“Derby Day always has that spectacular carnival atmosphere and we're looking forward to a display from the Red Devils and a military band's performance of the National Anthem which will all add to a wonderful occasion.”

Included among the guard of honour will be Derby-winning jockeys Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori and John Reid, as well as Hayley Turner, who has ridden regularly in the Queen's silks.


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