Ice ice lady: the woman who helped Harzand win Derby

Emily Kaphan

Emily Kaphan: kept Harzand’s foot iced

  PICTURE: Racing Post Staff  

Harzand’s Derby win owed most to trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen, but there was also a huge debt of gratitude to farrier Jim Reilly, after the colt stood on his foot on the journey to Epsom on Derby morning and drew blood, necessitating some skilled work to get him ready to run.

Keeping his foot in ice for hours was also crucial, and that’s where Epsom’s catering supervisor Emily Kaphan came in. We asked the unsung hero to reflect on that hectic day…  

RP: So then, tell us how events unfold?

EK: As it was a warm day there was every possibility that a request for ice may have come in. With Harzand, the race was not too far off, and the BHA asked for more ice. Our normal supplies had been used up so I had to go and get some more. There was a bit of a rush but we got there in the end.

RP: How much ice did you need to fetch?

EK: We had been using the 12kg bags of ice all day, so I had to go and get another one – which is quite a heavy load to fetch quickly!

RP: Where did you get it from on such a busy day?

EK: I had to go to the freezers back at the main site. It is not too far, although I certainly had to get my skates on with the race fast approaching.

RP: Did you need to make more than one trip?

EK: No, luckily that one big bag was enough for Harzand, and we managed to cool him down before the race started. 

RP: How much ice was there available on site before all supplies ran out?

EK: There were two bags available, so we were well covered. The BHA don’t usually make these sort of requests, and it didn’t happen last year, although it’s always best to be prepared.

RP: Looking back, how do you feel about your efforts having helped Harzand win the Derby?

EK: It was very pleasing and great to receive praise from the team. However, the real credit should go to Harzand, who ran a magnificent race. It was a fantastic festival and we cannot wait for next year.


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