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The Queen is excited about the prospect of Carlton House developing into a realistic hope for the Derby in the year of a Royal wedding.

With her grandson Prince William marrying Kate Middleton on April 29, the day before the 2000 Guineas and the horse’s third birthday, the Royal family will be more in the public eye than usual.

Should Carlton House, in the care of five-time Derby-winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute, land the Epsom showpiece in front of thousands of racegoers and millions of television viewers throughout the world, the year 2011 would be extra special for the monarch.

The Derby is the one Classic to have eluded Her Majesty and in Carlton House she could have a serious contender come June 4.

The Street Cry colt, bred by Darley Stud, showed great promise in both runs as a two-year-old.

After finishing second on his debut in testing conditions at Salisbury in September, he won his maiden the following month at Newbury by nine lengths against 17 rivals.

“Her Majesty is mindful of the horse’s progress over the winter and Sir Michael is very pleased with how he has developed,” John Warren, the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser, said.

“He’s delighted with his progress and we’re heading towards the trials to find out what calibre of horse he is.

“He has only raced in maiden company and until he’s thrown in the better end, we won’t really know.

“His spring homework will give us an indicator as to what to expect and then he’ll go through the trials to find out whether he’s worthy of taking his place in the Derby or not.

“The ground was very bottomless when he ran at Salisbury first time and although we were a little disappointed that he was beaten, Ryan Moore said to me directly after the race that we shouldn’t be disappointed and that he was an extremely nice horse.

“He said he’d come on significantly for the run and it was very much about getting him on the track and learning his job first time.

“Everyone saw what he did second time and there is hope and optimism that he’s an above-average horse, but you don’t really know until they’re up against a better class of horse on the racecourse.

“Her Majesty is excited about it, but at the moment she is concentrating on the information about the foals that are being born and the crop that are appearing.

“In the next month or so the reports start coming in about how horses are developing and how the two-year-olds are getting on.”

PA gm

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