It’s been a while since I posted on here but I wanted to throw my opinion in on the hot topic surrounding this year’s Derby.
This year Epsom Downs will once again host The Derby at it’s iconic track. With a number of horses vying for favouritism and without one clear favourite many of the racing circle are bringing the race into question.
Is it becoming less and less of a spectacle? Is The Derby not as highly regarded as it once was?
I find it hard to take this notion seriously. In the last ten years, we have seen high profile stars such as Camelot, Australia, Golden Horn and ‘super sire,’ Sea The Stars pass the finishing post in some style, confirming their elitism amoung their rivals. Whilst this year’s renewal is highly unlikely to throw up a winner in the same league as these, the fact that we are dismissing the race, it’s quality and tradition due to some hard to understand trials is ludicrous.
As a racing community we often find ourselves guilty of over complaining, ‘the fav is too short,’ ‘there aren’t enough runners,’ or even comments about why a particular high street brand shouldn’t sponsor a particular hill in Epsom.
We’ve even found headlines questioning an outsider in the form of Diore Lia being entered in the race. At odds of around the 1000-1 mark, owner Richard Aylward wants to run the filly to generate publicity and funding for Great Ormond Street Hospital, something that people seem to view as a negative. Given recent events, I find that particularly concerning.
Why must we find it so hard to just enjoy a season for what it is? Yes, this year’s renewal of The Derby is a tricky puzzle to figure out, but is that not half the intrigue that this sport brings? On Saturday, Epsom Racecourse will be hosting the richest race ever recorded in the country, if that’s the sign of a classic beginning it’s downward spiral, then I can’t wait for a bit of positivity…