Epsom Derby hopes for Queen end as only runner pulls out 48 hours before race

Just Fine was due to feature in Saturday's penultimate race but was removed on Thursday

Published

The Queen’s hopes of winning on Epsom Derby day have ended after her only runner was pulled out of a race.

Her Majesty is a passionate horse owner and breeder and would have been looking forward to seeing her horse running on Saturday during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Just Fine had been entered to feature in the penultimate race, the World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap, staged over the full Derby course and distance of one mile and four furlongs.

The Queen's hopes of Derby day success is over
The Queen's hopes of Derby day success is over
Her Majesty attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show last month
Her Majesty attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show last month

However, it was removed at Thursday’s 48-hour declaration stage.

It comes after the Queen’s hopes of winning the Derby were dashed earlier in May when her horse Reach For The Moon, who was among the favourites, and two others were withdrawn.

The Jockey Club announced the three thoroughbreds were among a large number who had been “scratched” from the entry list.

Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics – the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – with only the Derby eluding her.

The Queen is no longer planning to attend the sporting event during her Platinum Jubilee weekend according to reports, as the 96-year-old monarch is said to want to pace herself during her milestone celebrations.

It comes after the Queen missed today's National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

In a statement released last night, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort.

“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend."