Saturday 3rd June
The family of Fred Done, founder and Chairman of Derby sponsor Betfred, enjoyed the perfect start to 2023 when Regal Reality (5-1) landed the opening Betfred Diomed Stakes (1m 113y).
Sporting the colours of Done’s brother Peter, the eight year old was settled at the rear of the six-strong field before beginning to make progress entering the final quarter mile. Hitting the front half a furlong out, the Intello gelding kept on well for a three quarters of a length success over 2-1 Favourite Highland Avenue.
Fred Done said; “Peter’s at Wembley Stadium today. I can’t be there unfortunately as I’m sponsoring The Derby, but what a great day to be here. He phoned me straight after the race and said ‘Bring the readies home - make sure you keep it in the family’. It’s a fabulous day for everybody.
“I don’t know how much confidence there was behind him, but Peter said before the race that he thought he had some sort of chance. I thought ‘You are dreaming’, but Peter’s very happy about it.”
Winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: “He keeps doing it once a year so let’s hope he can do it twice a year this time!
“We’ve no plans, we’ll just have to ask him when we wants to go. We try to keep him happy as he’s very strong minded.”
Ryan Moore, the winning jockey, said: “He’s been a good horse for us and has won a Group race nearly every year. It’s great to do it again today at the age of eight.”
Charlie Appleby, trainer of runner-up Highland Avenue, said: “He has run another solid race and that is what he is like.
“Trip wise, we have come down in trip and as William (Buick) has just said there he is one of those horses that will be bang there in these sort of races. He would probably appreciate going back over 10 furlongs.
“We came back (in trip) today thinking we would probably get away with it but 10 furlongs is probably his optimum trip. We will find something for him. He battled back past Roger’s horse but Ryan’s horse is a decent horse on the day and he has come over the top of all of us. He is a solid old horse. He does a lot of work at home at the moment. He has had an easier day here than he would have had galloping this morning. It would be nice to get another win in him as he has got an engine.
“When he won the Feilden we were getting excited at one stage with him. He might be one to travel with but we will see.”
Roger Varian, trainer of third-placed Kolsai, said: “He ran a good race. He looked like winning, he didn’t quite byr he wasn’t beaten far. We’ll have to see whether he’s a horse to come back to seven furlongs - he looked like he held every chance with a furlong to run; maybe he hasn’t quite got home. He sort of ran to his mark. He’s run a good race; we’d have been happier if we’d won, we’re a bit disappointed, but I don’t think he’s run terribly - we’ll see.”