Yesterday, 6th June, was the 84th anniversary of the victory of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England as his horse Windsor Lad beat the unbeaten heavily favoured Colombo into third place, back in 1934. There were scores of journalists from newspapers and magazines present on the Epsom Downs from around the globe that afternoon. Among them was Taffyrus of Birmingham News.
He wrote about Windsor Lad:
“Colombo was toppled from his pedestal after all in the Derby. The Derby did one good thing, it showed that one doesn’t have to look like a Derby winner to be one. When Windsor Lad won at Chester, those who claim so much horse sense ruled him out of the Epsom race. I hope they have now learned a lesson. Twelve months back it was the same with Hyperion – Lord Derby’s colt was only a pony and could never win the Derby. After last week’s happenings I should think the ultra smart people will bury their heads and admit that, after all, Windsor Lad is a good colt. The Maharajah of Rajpipla’s Windsor Lad was, as I suggested, the best each way bet in the race, and though first choice had to be Colombo, on account of his unbeaten record, readers who read my notes carefully would have realised that I was none too sure of my choice in going for Lord Glanely’s colt. It was a great race, however, and I am glad that the honours went to Windsor Lad.”
Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla is still the only Indian owner to win this blue riband of the turf that began in 1780.
Read about the enthralling race in Indra Vikram Singh’s book ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ published in India by Sporting Links.
(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Indra Vikram Singh’s book ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ is available at an attractive price on Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166832