It is a race that epitomises the quirky nature of British and Irish racing that must seem so odd to other racing nations, the notion that the most prestigious classic in Europe is run on the craziest track.

Many decades have passed since legendary Italian breeder Federico Tesio wrote the famous words: “The thoroughbred exists because its selection has depended not on experts, technicians or zoologists, but one piece of wood: the winning post of the Epsom Derby.” It has become a cliché to describe the Derby as “the ultimate test of the thoroughbred”, but for me, many of the individual factors that make the Derby such a unique test are not emphasised strongly enough.