Friday, October 28, 2016

Manchester Dispatch report on the Epsom Derby 1934 triumph of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla

The following is an excerpt from the Manchester Dispatch report of 7th June 1934 on the triumph of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby as his horse Windsor Lad finished first in this blue riband of the turf.

The Derby wheel of fortune. Windsor Lad’s Victory
by Sir John Foster Fraser

Yet, after Smirke, the jockey in purple and cream sash, pressed Windsor Lad past the post, there rose a cheer as though the favourite had really won. Into the course - the long broad ribbon of green between the excited multitude - stepped the slim figure of the Maharaja, dark of feature, carrying his white topper in his hand with a red rose in his coat, bowing and smiling as he went to meet his horse. When he came into the enclosure he was mobbed by a hundred white-toppered friends. The Aga Khan, who had three losing horses in the race, patted him on the shoulder.


Then the Earl of Harewood came and got the Maharaja out of the clutch of a crowd of interviewing journalists and took him to the King to be congratulated. For everybody was there, the King and Queen, and most of the Royal family, down to little boys from Epsom Town, who were allowed to crouch at the feet of policemen on promising to be good. The Derby is an institution as well as a race.

(This has been reproduced from Indra Vikram Singh’s book ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’. Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email

A Maharaja’s Turf
ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6
Published in India by Sporting Links
Fully Illustrated
Hardcover 8.75 x 11.5 x 0.6 inches (landscape)
140 Pages
MRP Rupees 1995

Indra Vikram Singh’s latest books published by Sporting Links:
A Maharaja’s Turf  ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6
The Big Book of World Cup Cricket  ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3
Don’s Century  ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0
Crowning Glory  ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7
Distributed in India by:  Variety Book Depot, AVG Bhawan, M-3, Middle Circle, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110 001, India. Tel. + 91 11 23417175, 23412567, Email