My book ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ is about the triumph of my grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla's horse Windsor Lad in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934, still the only Indian owner to achieve this coveted feat.
Eighty years ago King George V and Queen Mary saw my grandfather's Irish-bred colt Windsor Lad win The Derby. On 7th June their grand-daughter Queen Elizabeth II was at Epsom to witness this year's Derby.
Just after my grandfather led Windsor Lad to the unsaddling area, King George V invited him to the royal box and raised a toast to this popular win, amid cheers of “Good Old Pip” (as my grandfather was referred to by race-goers) from the crowd, estimated to be between a quarter and a half million.
Incidentally, Windsor Lad was trained by Marcus Marsh, son of Richard Marsh who trained Derby winners for King George V and his father King Edward VII.
Windsor Lad was ridden by Charlie Smirke. In 1952, the same combination of Marcus Marsh and Charlie Smirke won the Derby for my grandfather’s friend the Aga Khan whose horse Tulyar finished at the head of the field.
(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Maharaja’s Turf
Published by Sporting Links, India.