Although she is perhaps most strongly associated with Royal Ascot, Queen Elizabeth II has been a regular visitor to Epsom Downs Racecourse and is set to return to the Surrey venue in 2022 as part of her Jubilee celebrations.
Horse racing is one of the Queen’s favourite pastimes and although she has enjoyed winners in both The Oaks and the 2,000 Guineas, she is yet to witness one of her horses achieve success in this historic sporting contest.
With Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place across the Derby weekend, the spotlight is likely to shine on Queen Elizabeth II’s three runners including Reach For The Moon, who is currently listed as 7/1 second favourite in the horse racing latest odds from Paddy Power. There has been plenty of support in the ante-post betting for the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt who cruised to victory in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown last year.
Reach For The Moon may be owned by The Queen, however, he was also bred at the Royal Stud in Sandringham and is sired by the hugely successful Sea the Stars. Golden Stream, the horse’s dam, is also owned by the reigning monarch and was victorious in a number of valuable listed contests.
The Queen's horse REACH FOR THE MOON with an impressive performance in the Betway Solario Stakes 👏
A potential contender for Her Majesty for next year's Cazoo Derby during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations!pic.twitter.com/4TA6fJXGqA
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) August 21, 2021
Other Royal Runners
Although the betting suggests that Reach For The Moon offers the Queen’s best chance of success at the beginning of June, she also has another couple of runners entered into this year’s contest.
Educator, who is also owned and bred by The Queen, was victorious at Haydock, however, he is unproven over the longer distance. General Idea, trained by William Haggas, has also been entered into the race, although he is yet to make his racecourse debut. Sired by Galileo, this untested colt comes from an impressive line of Epsom Derby winners although he is unlikely to trouble the top end of the betting market.
Other Potential Derby Winners
Although a Reach For The Moon victory in the Epsom Derby would greatly enhance The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, there are a number of potential disruptors who will be hoping to extend her long wait for success in this race.
Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg is unbeaten in three starts and will be hoping to preserve that perfect record this summer. Although the talented colt is yet to run beyond the mile, he will be well-fancied and is likely to be amongst the favourites for the race. Charlie Appleby’s Native Trail is another contender who is yet to taste defeat and he will be hoping to build upon his success in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket back in October 2021.
'I thought he was just the standout'
Charlie Appleby looks back on Native Trail's fine Darley Dewhurst display#ITVRacing pic.twitter.com/h5TgRmAxya
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) October 9, 2021
Epsom Derby Trends
Reach For The Moon may be amongst the favourites for this year’s contest, however, 2015 winner Golden Horn was the last winner to justify their place at the top of the betting. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has a tremendous record in this historic race and has been victorious in six of the last ten renewals.
Only two of the last five Derby winners had previously enjoyed success in Group company whereas four of the previous seven winners had been victorious in their previous outing.
With each of the last five winners having made an appearance within 28 days of the race taking place, connections may opt to give The Queen’s talented colt a preparatory run ahead of its appearance in this Blue Riband event.
Although she has enjoyed notable success with Estimate in the Ascot Gold Cup and has gone close in the Derby a decade ago with Carlton House, the prospect of landing the world’s most prestigious horse race with a homebred runner would be the perfect accompaniment to a weekend of celebrations in the Royal household.