Mick Kinane on potential Epsom Derby protests: 'Racing is starting to stand up for itself'

Mick Kinane on potential Epsom Derby protests: 'Racing is starting to stand up for itself'

Former flat racing jockey Michael Kinane believes that horse racing is starting to show a backbone when it comes to protesters who invade race tracks.

It was reported this week by the Daily Express that 'Animal Rising activists plan to mingle with racegoers on Saturday before swarming over the barriers onto Surrey's famous Epsom Downs Racecourse.'

This comes months after police arrested 118 protestors at Aintree after they managed to delay the race by nearly 15 minutes when they stormed the security fences.

The report also indicated that the Jockey Club has obtained a High Court injunction, and jail time will be handed out to potential demonstrators.

Kinane, who was champion jockey in Ireland 13 times and was victorious in the prestigious Derby at Epsom three times, was speaking to Epsom Derby odds about the topic.

"It wouldn't be ideal for the jockeys, but they're paid to deal with the expected and unexpected. You are more concerned about the horses than the jockeys. A delay on a hot day is a worry.

"All horses are highly volatile at the best of times, whether they are two-year-olds or eight-year-olds. They are not the easiest to handle, and people have to understand that they're not pets. They require specialist care and very professional people to look after them. Protestors don't take this into account, and it's up to racing to educate and focus people's attention on the welfare of horses."

The veteran also went on to add, "For the first time, we've seen racing stand up for itself. I've felt that it's previously been pandering too much to social media rather than educating people about how well horses are looked after. If we looked after our fellow humans as well as we look after horses, then we would be in a better world. That's a real positive that has come out of it."

The Derby is set to take place at Epsom on Saturday, June 3. The post time is set for 13:30 BST.