Mike Tindall has said he wishes animal rights activists would “go and spend a bit of time at professional yards” to see how well horses are looked after.
The former England rugby player will be joined by his wife Zara Tindall, daughter of the Princess Royal, at Epsom on Saturday.
The late Queen’s granddaughter competed in the London 2012 Olympics, winning a team eventing silver medal, which was presented by her mother Princess Anne.
When asked if he is hoping protesters stay off the track on Saturday, Tindall said: “Yes, of course.
“I wish they would just go and spend a bit of time at professional yards and have a look at how well the horses are looked after.
“I know how well my wife looks after her horses and how much she cares for them.
“They are like people.
“I’ve been to AP McCoy’s yard where he’s been having a birthday party for one of the horses.
“They are treated unbelievably well.
“Unfortunately, tragedy happens in the wild probably more than it does on the track and people forget this.
“All you can say is I know how well every trainer looks after their horse and every jockey cares about their horse, and you just wish they’d see that a bit more.”
Animal rights activists have pledged to “cancel or severely delay” the Derby on Saturday as police brace for disruption.
Writing on Twitter, activist group Animal Rising claimed it was willing to “put their bodies on the line”.