THE QUEEN has been dealt a big personal blow for her Platinum Jubilee weekend – after her best horse was ruled out of her favourite race.
Her Majesty, 96, had been planning to attend the Epsom Derby on June 4 to see her three-year-old colt Reach For The Moon finally land her a first winner in the prestigious contest.
But the 7-1 chance, who likely would have been ridden by Frankie Dettori, has been ruled out through injury, trainer John Gosden confirmed.
The Queen has famously never won the Epsom Classic – but has rarely missed attending the race in her 70-year reign.
Former champion trainer Gosden admitted to the Racing Post: "Following a setback last autumn, Reach For The Moon has been given all the time and care he requires in his training programme.
"We had planned to run him in the Dante Stakes at York next week. However, in the best interests of horse we have decided that this race is coming too soon for him.
"Consequently, he will not run in the Derby and will be pointed towards Royal Ascot."
Victory in the 1m4f Group 1 contest is worth £850,000 to connections.
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Epsom were putting in plans for The Queen to attend the Derby as part of her Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations.
For now, there is no indication that Reach For The Moon's withdrawal means she will no longer go.
And Her Majesty could have another runner in the shape of the William Haggas-trained Educator.
But while Reach For The Moon was third favourite for the Flat race, Educator is a general 50-1 shot.
Another Haggas-trained horse for The Queen, General Idea, is a 66-1 chance currently and could get a run.
Sun Racing told you last September how Her Majesty's runners had been in fine form.
In fact, last season was her most successfu ever, as she won more than £460,000 in prize money.
An insider said at the time: "The Queen rarely misses a race in which one of her horses is racing and has a television so she can catch the drama.
"It would have no doubt cheered her up with everything that is going on."
Over the last five seasons in Flat races in Britain, Her Majesty's runners have won just shy of £2million.
And she looks to have started this season off where she finished last, with Discretion a winner at Beverley yesterday.
From 22 runs this year she has recorded four winners and earnings of £45,334.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr commented on how Reach For The Moon's exit has shaken up the betting.
He said: "With news that Reach For The Moon will miss the Derby the resulting reaction is a shortening of Luxembourg to 2/1 from 5/2 and New London, who incidentally, is 1/2 to win the Boodles Chester Vase on Wednesday, is now 5/1 from 6/."
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20/1 Buckaroo, Coroebus, Desert Crown, Native Trail, Stone Age
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