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Bosses must act over Derby disrespect; STEAMING.

Byline: David Yates gets it off his chest

THE presence of 1,000-1 no-hoper Diore Lia in today's Derby represents a shameful act of disrespect against an iconic horserace that many of us cherish above all others.

Don't be taken in by gushing guff of some heroic David-versus-Goliath tale.

Diore Lia is no Terimon, Dragon Dancer or At First Sight, all of whom illustrated the glorious uncertainty of our sport by performing heroically in the face of huge odds at Epsom.

By comparison, the boy with the catapult was a certainty.

The 2017 version is as fascinating a Derby as there has been in recent years, so it's a crying shame that many precious column inches have been wasted on the saga surrounding the one horse of the 19 runners that cannot possibly win.

It matters not one iota that the plating-class filly's Derby 'challenge' is made in the name of raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.

The Derby is a championship race, not a charity race.

There are numerous events at British racecourses throughout the year run to benefit good causes and they would make a suitable assignment for Diore Lia.

But the world's greatest Flat race, in which she poses a potential danger to other horses and their jockeys, is not an appropriate target.

There are no restrictions to running in the Derby -- if you pay the entry fees and there is not a full field, you're in.

Sadly, as with a priceless work of art that needs the protection of a red velvet rope because the public couldn't be trusted treat it with due reverence, the premier Classic must now come with conditions attached.

No horse below the rating of 80 by the Monday before the race should be eligible.

If you've paid thousands and your runner doesn't reach the required standard, tough -- you've lost your money.

But in instances where a maiden does not have a rating by having run just twice, the BHA must have the discretion to allow a horse to take part.

Racing must always be about dreams. But it shouldn't be about fantasies or ego trips.

Diore Lia is not, as has been claimed, 'the people's champion'. Her participation shovels dishonour on her owner Mary Todd, trainer John Jenkins (left) and jockey Paddy Pilley.

The BHA must act to ensure this most unsavoury episode is not repeated.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2017
Words:398
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