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IT'S 59-years since Her Majesty the Queen congratulated the newly knighted Sir Gordon Richards on winning the Derby on Pinza.

That Saturday, in far off 1953, came at the end of a week of celebration for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation and was the only time Richards - who was having his final ride in the Classic - won the Derby in 26 attempts.

But the 'shortest Knight's' wait was nothing in comparison to the patience the Queen has shown to see a horse carrying her famous purple, crimson, gold and black silks win the premier Classic.

Her runner in the Derby that year was Aureole, who finished a fourlength runner-up.

But that, in terms of finishing position, is the best she's done.

The first time the then Princess Elizabeth had a horse in training was the chaser Monaveen in 1949 - shared with her mother, the then Queen.

But access to horses bred by the National Stud following her accession to the throne ensured she concentrated on the Flat while her mother enjoyed success over jumps. In fact, other than the subsequent champion sire Aureole, the Queen has only had nine other runners in the Derby.

Landau was ahead at the quartermile mark in 1954 before fading while 50-1 shot Atlas finished strongly in fifth in 1956.

Doutelle (1957) and Miner's Lamp (58) never featured but Above Suspicion (59) was a strong-finishing fifth.

Then followed a break until 1978 when English Harbour made no show and Milford disappointed a year later. Church Parade trailed in behind Shergar in 1981 but the nation expected last year as Carlton House was sent off 5-2 favourite.

The colt was unlucky in running, finishing third by less than a length - the closest in terms of distance beaten any of her Derby runners have got.

But the Queen has achieved plenty of Epsom success, highlighted by the Oaks wins of Carozza (1957) and Dunfermline in Silver Jubilee year, 1977.

There won't be an Epsom Classic winner for her over the Diamond Jubilee weekend but let's hope it will be 'hats off' in the future.


ON NO! After Carlton House's defeat in 2011 WHAT A FINISH!HM gets carried away as Shirley Heights wins in 1978 OUT WITH MUM The Queen and Queen Mother in 1954 WHAT A WINNER! The Queen leads in her 1957 Oaks winner Carrozza, ridden by 21-year-old Lester Piggott GOOD TIME With Sir Michael Oswold in 2008 DERBY HOPE The Queen's Milford finished 10th behind 1979 winner Troy CHEERING HM watches Nashwan win in 1989 OUT WITH DAD Princess Elizabeth and King George VI in 1948

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2012
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