Epsom Derby: A new royal first for Queen Elizabeth II

Story highlights

  • Queen Elizabeth II to present Epsom Derby trophy
  • Monarch has never presented the coveted prize during her 63-year reign

(CNN)Queen Elizabeth II may be approaching her 90th year but it seems there's still time for Britain's longest serving monarch to mark a new first.

It was announced on Tuesday that the head of the UK royal family will present the trophy to the winner of the 2016 Epsom Derby -- Britain's richest horse race -- when the event takes place in early June.
    "We are very proud of the royal heritage associated with this fixture," said Simon Durrant, general manager at Epsom Downs Racecourse in a statement to mark the announcement.
    "And this year we are honored that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed to present the Derby trophy in the year of her 90th birthday."
    Although a horse enthusiast since her youth and a regular spectator at the Epsom event, Queen Elizabeth has never presented the prestigious Derby trophy during her 63-year reign.
    The Princess Elizabeth Stakes race, which takes place over the 10-day Epsom festival, is named after her majesty and has been run since 1947.
    Additionally, the Coronation Cup race has been renamed The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup this year in honor of her 90th birthday.
    The Queen owns a number of horses and became the first monarch to record a victory at the Ascot Gold Cup when her horse, Estimate, took the coveted prize in 2013.
    That triumph added to her earlier wins in English Classics series events, the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, The Oaks and St. Leger.
    But no horse owned by Queen Elizabeth II has ever triumphed at the Epsom Derby, which was first run way back in 1780, and remains the only leg of the five English Classics she has yet to record a winner in.
    Perhaps there's still time for yet another royal first.