The Investec Epsom Derby

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What You Need to Know

  1. The Epsom Derby is arguably the most prestigious horse race in the world. It's a Group 1 flat race and one of the five Classics of the British racing calendar
  2. It's also one third of the Triple Crown of British racing, held between the 2,000 Guineas and the St Leger
  3. The first race was held way back in 1890, since when it's grown in popularity and prestige
  4. Since 1995, the Derby has been held on the first Saturday of June at the famous Epsom Downs racecourse in Surrey
  5. The Derby is  the richest event in the UK racing calendar and one of the richest in the whole world, with a prize pot of £1.5 million
  6. Unsurprisingly, the Derby is popular with the Epsom Down crowds as well as with sports betting fans. If you fancy a flutter, consider opening an online sports betting account to get the best odds
  7. Getting to Epsom Downs is very easy. The Racecourse is well-served by regular trains from London, plus it's very easy to reach by car.
  8. Ths year the race will take place on Saturday the 6th June.

A Quick Overview

There is no race quite like the Epsom Derby. A Group 1 flat horse race, it's the most prestigious of the five Classics of the British racing season and the richest horse race held in all of the UK.

The prestige and the size of the prize on offer means the Derby always attracts Europe's top thoroughbreds, with competition fierce. What's more, it's also one of the most popular events among sports betting fans, with bookies seeing a huge spike in bets made ahead of what is widely-regarded as the Blue Riband of the turf.

History of the Epsom Derby

The first Derby, held in 1890, was a relatively informal and chaotic affair, with competitors racing across one mile of open countryside. Just a few years later, however, the race length was extended to 1.5 miles and proceedings became much more formal, with a bigger prize and a higher level of competitor.

In its heyday, the Derby was just one feature of the Epsom Fair, which lasted a whole week and attracted huge crowds, including celebrities such as Charles Dickens, and royalty. The number of people attending the fair steadily dwindled, however, and the fairground was finally closed in 2009.

Over the years, the day of the Derby has been changed on numerous occasions. Most notably, it was moved from the first Wednesday in June to the first Saturday in 1995, since when the races have always taken place on this day.

The Race Today

Today the Derby is held at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey on the first Saturday of June. It's open to horses aged three years of above, with the course along a left-handed track precisely 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards in length. As well as being highly prestigious in its own right, the Derby also serves as the middle leg of the Triple Crown, sandwiched between the 2,000 Guineas and the St Leger.

The Derby is quite some distance the richest event in the UK horse racing calendar and one of the richest in the whole world. The prize pot on offer is in the region of £1.5 million, with the winner taking home around £750,000.

Thanks to its prestige, the Derby continues to draw large crowds to Epsom Downs, plus it also has a huge global TV audience. Unsurprisingly, then, it's also massively popular with sports betting fans, with high street and online bookies offering a wide range of betting markets in the run-up to the big race and even novice punters able to have a flutter on the action and potentially win big.

As of 2009, the Derby is sponsored by Investec Bank. The deal runs until 2022, meaning the race will officially be known as the Investec Derby until then.

Getting to the Race

If you want to watch the action in person, then the good news is that getting to Epsom Downs racecourse is very easy, especially for big race meetings.

  • By train, the racecourse is served by Tattenham Corner and Epsom Downs Station. Both of these are served by regular direct trains from London Waterloo and London Victoria stations. During the Investec Derby Festival, regular free shuttle buses run between the two local stations and the Racecourse.
  • If you're travelling by car, then you will fine Epsom Downs Racecourse at postcode KT18 5LQ, so type this into your SatNav system if you are using one. You will find the Raccourse just off the main B290 road, which runs out of Epsom town centre.

For more information on getting to Epsom Downs to watch the Derby in person, visit the official Racecourse website. Here you can also find information about arriving by bus and even by air.

 

Betting on the Epsom Derby

The Epsom Derby is perfect for having a flutter, whether you're new to sports betting or an experienced gambler. If you're going to the race, you will find plenty of trackside bookies offering up-to-the-minute odds as well as Tote betting.

If, however, you can't get to Epsom Downs in person, then you should sign up for an online sports betting account. By betting online, you can get the best selection of betting markets, shop around for the best odds and even take advantage of some great introductory offers, including up to £200 in cashback with sites like Bet365.com.

The Derby does have a rich history of upsets, with punters winning big on victorious long-shots. In recent years, however, the top thoroughbreds, as well as the best trainers and jockeys, have dominated the race, so consider backing the favourites.

 

The Latest Odds and all the Horses

 

 

Facts and Records

The Epsom Derby is famous right around the world, thanks in no small part to its rich history. Over the years, the race has produced many heroes and villains, with plenty of records set along the way. Here are just a few fascinating facts about this iconic sporting event:

  • While the name 'Derby' is now used as short-hand for numerous races right around the world, including the famous Kentucky Derby, the Epsom race is the undisputed original and, some say, the very best.
  • Legend has it that the race was named after the Earl of Derby after he won a coin too. Had he lost, the prestigious event could have been called the Bunbury Stakes.
  • The race has always been run at Epsom, expect when Britain has been at war. So, between 1914 and 1918 and then again from 1940 to 1945, it was held at Newmarket.
  • The Derby has many imitators around the world. Races modelled on it include the Australian Derby, the Irish Derby and the Derby Italiano.
  • Such was the popularity of the Derby in its first few years, Parliament was sometimes suspended so MPs could travel up to Surrey to watch the action.
  • Lestor Piggott is the top jockey in the history of the Derby, riding an incredible nine winners between 1954 and 1983.
  • While favourites often shine at the Derby, three horses have won the race at odds of 100/1, though the most recent of these upsets was back in 1913.
  • Shergar is arguably the most famous winner, having romped to victory by an unprecedented ten lengths in the 1981 race.
  • In more recent history, Aidan O'Brien's 2014 victory made him the first person to train three consecutive Derby winners.

Further Reading

 

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