The Queen has it pretty sweet.
Loads of money, no job, nothing to do all day – she’s like a well-heeled welfare fraud.
And don’t forget – all the checking out Pippa Middleton’s bum she can get away with – although we imagine she doesn’t maximise that opportunity as much as the members of the Paddy Power Email Writing Team would. The point is, she’s got a pretty sweet deal. You’d think she’d leave one of the biggest prizes in racing to everyone else, but she won’t. She really wants to win her first Derby and she’s determined to make it happen. The last time she wanted something she had no real God-given entitlement to have this much, we had the Falklands War.
In fairness, Queen Liz Part II has had her share of disappointments in the Epsom showpiece. Just a few days after she sunk her bum into the grooves of the throne for the first time in 1953, she narrowly missed out on landing the race with Aureole. This time around, Carlton House is the horse fancied to end her long Derby drought. Named after her favourite character from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and her favourite genre of dance music, he’s her best chance of claiming the elusive prize in many a year. “One does enjoy the dancing of Carlton Banks. And after this, one is going to listen to Leftfield drop some phat beatz,” she’s often heard saying around the corridors of Buckingham Palace. Of course she’ll deny it, but we still think she knows more than she let’s on about what happened in that tunnel, so we wouldn’t trust everything that comes from her mouth.
With Frankel sticking to what he knows best and hockeying the opposition over a mile, Carlton House won the Dante Stakes and emerged as the only horse with a reliable bit of form. There was some major concern earlier in the week after the Derby favourite had reportedly hurt himself during a canter at Sir Michael Stoute’s yard, but everything’s ok. “It would be the equivalent of a footballer straining his ankle,” explained the Queen’s racing advisor, which we take to mean the horse grabbed his face, spent fifteen minutes rolling around on the ground in apparent agony before returning to his feet in full health and attempting to proposition a glamour model for a extra-marital affair. Whatever happened, a quick x-ray revealed that there’s no major issue and he will take his chance in the Derby.
In opposition we’ve got a whole load of horses who may or may not improve enough to deny good old Queenie. Standout form is a bit thin on the ground, but as a result what we do have is a wide open Derby with several likely contenders, a few possible contenders and only a handful of horses who’d look less likely to win only if their names appeared on the ballot paper for a FIFA Presidential Election. It’s lucky the Queen’s recent visit to Ireland symbolised the historically good relations between the two countries because in other times the size of Aidan O’Brien’s raiding party would be considered a hostile invasion. For the first time since Kieron Fallon snorted away a couple of years worth of his career. He’s chosen to ride Recital and in the past, some of the Irish jockey’s decisions have proven to be very wise. Not all of them, mind as those two years tell us.
Now that we’ve got your attention. it’s time for our obligatory mildly patronising reminder that the Derby isn’t the only great race happening in the next couple of days. The Group 1 Epsom Oaks and the Coronation Cup are on today and the support card to the Derby is packed full of top quality racing.
Actually, that was very patronising.
So who do you think will win the Derby? Will the Queen be sobbing in her caviar and drowning her sorrows in Moet? Suggestions in the comments section please.