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Article 4th June 2022 Epsom Downs

The Royal party was greeted by a Guard of Honour made up of 40 jockeys, past and present, on its arrival at Epsom Downs for Derby Day.

The Royal party was led by HRH The Princess Royal and also included Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, Mr & Mrs Mike Tindall, Mr Peter Phillips and Ms Lindsay Wallace.

All 40 jockeys making up the Guard of Honour have ridden for The Queen and all were adorned in the Royal silks.

The following jockeys gave their reaction on being involved in today’s Guard of Honour:

William Buick

“It was great to see all those legends of the sport come here together today for the Platinum Jubilee. She is an incredible monarch and an incredible lady. She is the longest serving monarch in the world and her involvement in horseracing is magnificent.

“Her knowledge of her own horses is unbelievable. She breeds her own horses and sees them from young horses right the way through until they hit the track. It is always very special to ride in the Royal silks.”

Willie Carson

“I think most jockeys today who were in the colours were very honoured to do it. It is a great honour to be doing such a thing. When you put these colours on it is a nice feeling and you feel a little bit proud in yourself and proud to be in those colours.

“It is a great occasion with this week being the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and it is great that we have been asked to be part of it. I know for sure Her Majesty was watching at home and will have really enjoyed it.

“It is a simple answer to what the highlight of riding for The Queen was and that was winning the Oaks on Dunfermline in her Silver Jubilee year (1977). It was a fairytale come true and I’m sure Her Majesty enjoyed it as well. The mare ended up beating the great Alleged which was the only time he was ever beaten. It was a good year that year.

“She is the patron of racing and she has been a great advantage to horseracing. Her racing is her passion and everybody who takes an interest in the royal family will understand that her hobby is her horses.”

Steve Cauthen

"I didn't get to ride for The Queen that often but I did ride a Group winner for her in Germany and a couple of winners here in the UK. This feels good, like Willie Carson says, you just feel bigger when you put these colours on.

"That it's a sunny day that makes it feel even better - the atmosphere is magnificent."

Frankie Dettori

“It is a shame The Queen is not here but she has had a lot on this week. I’m sure she will find a television to watch it on but we are really going to miss her today.

“It is a great honour to wear the Royal silks. I’ve ridden with most of the jockeys here today, except obviously the Jumps boys.

“It is nice to see some old faces come together and celebrate The Queen.

“I have had a winner on Derby Day for her and I’ve had a couple of Royal Ascot winners for her which were great moments but it is always special riding for her.

“It is a shame we couldn’t get Reach For The Moon here in time for the Derby but he will be going to Royal Ascot.

“They are beautiful silks, you only have to look at them and they are very much part of the history of racing.

“The Queen is very involved. She's been breeding horses for 60 years, she knows all the bloodlines and she loves her racing.”

James Doyle

“It’s a lovely gesture and it’s nice to see so many of the riders I grew up looking up to. It was a proud moment when I rode a Royal Ascot winner on Tactical for The Queen, but it was unfortunately during COVID so she was unable to attend.”

Martin Dwyer

"What an honour to be here and asked to do this. I can't believe I got the invite. I mean, I'm just a scallywag from a council estate who rides a few horses, so I'm really honoured to be here. And what a line-up – look at these jockeys. That man beside me got me into racing, Steve Cauthen. I mean, what an honour - what a line-up of jockeys.

“I’ve ridden some big winners but riding winners in these colours is something else, they’re famous around the world and I know it’s something my mum is very proud of. I think the only pictures that she’s got of me at home are of me riding for the Queen!”

Mick Fitzgerald

“All you have to do is look around you and you’ll see you are among greatness in the jockeys’ world. I rode a lot more winners for the Queen Mother, but I rode winners for the Queen too and it was an honour every time you put on the silks. It was always very special.”

David Harrison

“It’s a real honour to be here and it’s great to see some of the older guys like Steve Cauthen, Frankie, Willie and Darryll Holland. I rode a Royal Ascot winner for the Queen on Colour Sergeant in the Royal Hunt Cup, and in total I had 27 winners for her, mostly in the 1990s when I was riding for Lord Huntingdon.”

Richard Hughes

“We’re very lucky to be doing this and I feel privileged that I was lucky enough to ride winners for her, it’s a special day. When they made the new stand at Royal Ascot she hadn’t had a winner at the meeting for 10 years and I won the Chesham for her and that was brilliant.”

Richard Kingscote

“I’ve ridden three winners for The Queen, maybe four, and it’s nice to be here. Everyone who rides for The Queen knows what a privilege it is and there are a lot of top riders here for this.”

Tom Marquand

"It's a huge honour. It's always special putting on the royal silks, but to see the people that have done it before our time, it's huge and special.

"Obviously there's the added pressure in your own head knowing that you want to ride a winner for The Queen and I've been very lucky to do so. You know how much has gone into the breeding, and the passion that she has for racing is just second to none."

Sir AP McCoy

“It’s a great thing to be doing. Racing is so lucky to have Her Majesty as a fan and a supporter of the sport, and it was a great privilege for everyone here to be putting on the colours again.

“There are a lot of famous faces here, and I asked Steve Cauthen for a picture. I wouldn’t ask anyone else for one but I’m not embarrassed about it. When I was an apprentice in Ireland it was Steve Cauthen and Pat Eddery you looked up to.”

Johnny Murtagh

“It’s brilliant. It’s great to meet all the lads and to put the silks back on. It’s a very special year for a very special lady, and it’s great to be a part of it.”

Jamie Snowden

“It’s a privilege to be here and great to be a part of it. I only rode three winners for the Queen, but that was from three rides.”

Hayley Turner

"It’s so good that everyone's got together today and there's a good atmosphere, it's exciting."

Jason Weaver

"The hardest thing when you retire is to get that amount of jockeys together. If you were organising a dinner or something, you'd have a whole host of no-shows.

“Everybody who was supposed to be there turned up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which is fantastic and just shows how much appreciation we have for Her Majesty."

Earlier today, several of The Queen’s former racehorses took part in a special parade as part of a tribute to Her Majesty’s contribution to the horseracing and breeding industry. Retraining of Racehorses worked with The Jockey Club, which runs Epsom Downs, to arrange for five of the monarch’s retired thoroughbreds to be present today.


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