As mentioned on Saturday, I do love going racing. So I’m afraid I played truant from work on Friday, whipping out a suitable racing outfit, charging up my three spare smartphone batteries so I could work on the hoof, and heading to Epsom for the Derby.
One of the most iconic sporting events of the year, it dates back to 1780 and is held each year on the first weekend of June at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
Harvey Nichols had taken a box, and myself and Jane from The Times were their guests. Unfortunately my plus one had to drop out at the last minute, but I had a lovely day with the others all the same. Here are my race partners in crime: Hannah on the left, Jane in the middle. Jane’s hat was, fittingly from Jane Taylor, and mine was Juliette Millinery, courtesy of The Hat Club. My beautiful coat was a present from Jaeger. (I look about a foot wide for some reason in this photo.)
Here’s Hannah in her amazing vintage hat:
Arriving at the Derby on an open topped bus from London is a long standing tradition, dating from the days when you could get the best view from the top deck. They all park up opposite the grandstands.
Harvey Nichols sponsored the best dressed competition. The winner Leigh Johnson was wearing Roland Mouret
We lunched in the Harvey Nichols box. Not wisely but well:
Dutifully trotting down to the paddock to inspect the runners before they were saddled always seems sensible, but it made not a jot of difference to my betting skills.
Here’s the view once everyone has arrived:
The crowd just before the Oaks, the third of Britain’s five Classic races to be held during the season, as we went down to the rails to place our bets.
Here are the horses thundering down the home straight in the 2013 Oaks. My horses came in the last five. Never, ever take a racing tip from me.