The Epsom Derby 2012.
Today, there is a very good card from Haydock, with some high class stakes races, there is also a meeting from one of the most beautiful tracks in the country – Cartmel, and the Scots hold the Edinburgh Cup from Musselburgh….
But again, there is only one meeting today –
And only one race today which is one of the Classics, sometimes called the “Blue Riband” of the turf, and is the second leg of the Triple Crown –
The Investec Derby!
The Derby comes with loads of history dating back to 1780, and was named at a knees up held by the 12th Earl of Derby, where the final name of the event would be the Earl, or one of his guests, Sir Charles Bunbury, over the flip of a coin.
It has been rumoured that Bunbury won, but gave it to the Earl of Derby, but Bunbury’s horse, Diomed, won the first race! The Earl had to wait for seven years for one of his horses to win.
Like quite a few big races, the Derby was not on a Saturday originally, but were ran mid-week, and people would visit Epsom Fair afterwards. This was a massive Fair, on for around ten days, with musicians, clowns conjurers, and steam rides later on.
In 2009, the Fair was closed after the meeting was moved in the mid-nineties to the Weekend to increase interest and attendance. That ‘worked’ then!
The Derby has been copied all over the world – The Deutsches Derby, the Australian Derby, the New Zealand Derby, the Irish Derby, the Derby Italiano, the Prix du Jockey Club, the Tokyo Yushun. and the Kentucky Derby in the USA.
The Derby Stakes is open to three-year-old colts and fillies, (not many fillies enter), over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs. This is a chunky race for the winner, they cop £213,513, not bad for a days racing! Previous notable winners are Shergar, Seabird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and the arm waving Mickael Barzalona on Pour Moi last year.
This years event is perhaps not as competitive as I’d like, and I’d love to pick out a big price tip, but the market is right, the race looks to go to Camelot, with Bonfire in hot pursuit, along with Main Sequence.
So the main event is the Derby, the supporting race is the Coronation Cup, which is, open to horses aged four years or older. over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs.
This race was originally made to commemorate the coronation of a new British monarch, but not our Queen, but fifty years earlier for King Edward VII in 1902. This year it has been renamed Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup, as part of Her Maj’s 60 year celebrations.
This race is a choppy one, and whilst I’d like to pick a horse, there is no clear selection – Beaten Up looks to be better than the last result, St Nicholas Abbey is not the right price for the risk, I had big hopes for Robin Hood, but they have not bore fruit, and Red Cadeaux likes longer. Watch only!
She also gets another race in celebration of herself, The Diamond Jubilee Handicap over 1 mile 2 furlongs.
A tidy race, and I have my eye on The Giving Tree, but this may be too early for him yet, but Grandeur looks to be a smart runner, with enough to take the race.
Gawd bless her!
Over to the other meetings – Haydock hold the next best meeting, and celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee weekend with a good card supported by –
The Timeform Jury Stakes, which is open to horses aged four years plus, over a distance of 7 furlongs. The race was originally named after the 1st Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt, but has been sponsored by the Timeform since 2009.
An open race, which many could come up and get their nose up on the line, the fav Red Jazz looks the best chance, with Royal Rock a danger.
The next race of note is the Pinnacle Stakes, which is open to fillies and mares aged four years plus, over a distance of 1 mile, 3 furlongs. It was originally in memory of Lady Joan Westbrook, an owner and breeder who was involved in racing for years.
The firmer going may show holes in some of the horses previous form, and Frankie Dettori‘s mount Khawlah should suit the going after some solid form at Meydan.
Another tidy race is the Blue Square Sandy Lane Stakes, which is open to three year old horses, over a distance of 6 furlongs. A race to watch.
Our Scottish cousins also hold a reasonable card at Musselburgh, where they showcase their Edinburgh Cup, which is open to horses that are three years plus, over a distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs.
I had an eye on Scatter Dice, but the last run showed some ‘holes in the cheese’, but I do have a fancy in this event – Maastricht.
Keep up! A chock-a-block day of racing!