On Wednesday 4 June 1913, fledgling newsreel cameras captured just
over two-and-a-half minutes of neverto-be-forgotten British social
and sporting history. The 250,000 people thronging Epsom Downs
carried with them a quartet of combustible elements: a fanatical,
publicity-hungry suffragette; a scapegoat for the Titanic disaster
and the pillar of the Establishment who bore him a personal grudge;
a pair of feuding jockeys at odds over money and glory; and,
finally, at the heart of the action, two thoroughbred horses ? one
a vicious savage and one the consummate equine athlete. Taken
together, this was a recipe for the most notorious horse race in
British history. One hundred years on, this particular Derby Day is
remembered for two reasons: the fatal intervention of Emily
Davison, a militant suffragette who brought down the KingOCOs
runner, and the controversial disqualification of Bower IsmayOCOs
horse Craganour on the grounds of rough riding ? the first and only
time a Derby-winner has forfeited its title for this reason. The
sensation of DavisonOCOs questionable interference in the name of
suffrage has overshadowed the outrage of CraganourOCOs
disqualification and the intricate reasons behind it. Now, with a
view to allowing this scandal the attention it deserves, Michael
Tanner replays the most dramatic day in Turf history ? and finally
uncovers the truth of the Suffragette Derby."
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