Tregoning: A Changed Derby Is Not The Derby At All

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Marcus Tregoning | Racing Post

Marcus Tregoning, who trained Sir Percy (GB) (Mark of Esteem {Ire}) to win the 1996 G1 Epsom Derby, said he thinks the blue riband staged on a different date or at a different racecourse cannot go down in history as the Derby.

Last week, the Jockey Club Racecourses announced that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guineas and Derby Festivals would be postponed to dates yet to be decided. The Guineas Festival was set for May 2 and 3, and the Derby Festival June 5 and 6. Racing in Britain is off until at least May 1; authorities say a clearer update is imminent.

“The Derby is run at a certain time of year, on a particular course and that is part of the test,” Tregoning said. “If you move it until later in the year or run it at a different course, it is obviously not the same race.

“The Derby is unique. Of course you could run a Group 1 over the distance somewhere else and call it something else, but it would not be the Derby.”

Tregoning said he thinks it is imperative to wait on a resumption of racing until it is absolutely safe.

“The most important thing is to save lives,” he said. “We can do lots of planning for a resumption of racing, but in my opinion, we should not resume until it is safe to do so.”

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