The Queen's big Derby hope Reach For The Moon has been ruled out of the Platinum Jubilee classic next month.
Reach For The Moon had been the 7/1 third-favourite for the Epsom race but will now miss the June 4 renewal and head straight to Royal Ascot instead.
It is a bitter blow for the Queen, who had been hoping to mark her Platinum Jubilee with a first win in Derby as an owner. The horse's trainer, John Gosden, revealed he has run out of time to get the three-year-old colt ready for the race after he suffered an injury last Autumn.
He told 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."
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A first victory in the Derby would have been the icing on the Jubilee weekend cake for the Queen, who had her first runner in the race all the way back in 1953 with Aureole. The horse finished second on that occasion – the closest Her Majesty has ever come to winning the third classic of the season.
Reach For The Moon had been expected to run a big race in the Derby following an impressive juvenile campaign. After two runner-up finishes in his first two runs, he got his head in front for the first time with a 4l success over Harrow at Newbury in July.
He followed that up with victory in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown and was last seen finishing second once again, this time to Bayside Boy in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last September.
Subsequently, Reach For The Moon was found to have picked up an injury that ruled him out of the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
Despite Reach For The Moon's absence from the Derby picture, all hope is not lost for the Queen. Her Majesty has two other entries in the race in 40/1 shot Educator and 66/1 chance General Idea, both trained by William Haggas.
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