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Epsom Derby-The British Classic Horse Race
Saturday 4th June 2022 will be one of the most peculiar events, compared to one of the greatest social occasions of the British sporting scene.
Saturday 4th June 2022 will be one of the greatest social occasions of the British sporting scene. With the carnival atmosphere and picnics on the Hill, to top hat and tails in the Queen’s Stand with Royalty in attendance, the Epsom Derby is the place to be.
The Derby Stakes is the most prestigious Classic race in British racing and is only for three year-old colts and fillies over a mile and a half at Epsom. It used to be on the first Wednesday in June but was moved to Saturday in 1995 to attract a bigger TV audience.
The race is the middle leg of the English Triple Crown which was last achieved by Nijinsky in 1970. Camelot came close in 2012 when successful in the 2000 Guineas and Derby before being beaten by outsider Encke in the St Leger. The Epsom Derby has been the inspiration of many Classic races of the same title across the world, notably the Kentucky Derby and the Irish Derby.
There are 2 options for you Derby tickets: regular entry or hospitality.
Hospitality tickets for Ladies’ Day are from: £396-£696.
Derby Day Tickets: From £15 for the Hillside Enclosure to £135 for the Queen’s Stand. See all the official Derby Day tickets and get your £5 discount on Grandstand entry or £50 discount for a group of 10+.
Hospitality tickets for Cazoo Derby Day are from: £420-£768.
Epsom racecourse in Surrey is the venue for the Derby, a unique undulating track on the North Downs. The racecourse is as synonymous with the Derby as Aintree is to the Grand National.
Epsom can hold a capacity crowd of 130,000 with the Derby being the highlight of a meeting which also features the Group 1 Oaks Stakes and the Coronation Cup. The course is owned by the Jockey Club and has a rich history of association with the Royal Family. Her Majesty The Queen regularly attends the Derby meeting but success in the big race has so far eluded her.
The first recorded race held on the Epsom Downs was back in 1661, although it was seventy years before the course staged twice yearly meetings. The legendary Eclipse won at Epsom on 3rd May 1769 while the inaugural running of the Oaks took place in 1779. The following year the Derby was introduced.
The Epsom Downs racecourse has undergone many improvements in recent times including the new Duchess’s Stand in 2009. The new stand cost an estimated £23.5 million and caters for banquets, conferences and exhibitions.
The 2021 Derby should be remembered as the ‘Shock Derby’. Cast all the favourites aside because this race was lead from the final stretch by the outsiders Adayar and Mojo Star. Adam Kirby ran cleverly from the inside, waiting for the opportunity, and when the gap opened, only Mojo Star tried to keep up, but in vain. Adayar is the shock winner of the 2021 Epsom Derby.
See the first names for the 2022 Derby race (ante post).
Latest Update: 18 October 2021
Tickets sell quickly for the Epsom Derby! Don’t delay – reserve your Derby day tickets now!
Epsom dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 and was a leading spa town during the Georgian period. As well as the Derby, it is also famous for Epsom salts which were discovered in the early 17th century in a spring near the town. Being within easy reach of London and the attractive Surrey countryside, Epsom is rated one of the best places to live in England.
For those looking for entertainment away from the racetrack, Epsom Playhouse provides a 406-seat theatre with both professional and community productions. Chessington World of Adventures is the ideal place for family entertainment with a Theme Park, Zoo and Aquarium. Jungle Island Adventure Golf is within nearby Horton Par Golf Club with fun for all the family.
If you want to explore the local countryside, why not visit Box Hill on the beautiful North Downs. Box Hill has breath-taking views of the Surrey landscape and is home to a wide range of wildlife and plants. You can also get closer to nature at Hobbledown, a family farm with wooden play areas and a picnic area.
If you really want to look the part on Derby day, pop into Lester Bowden outfitters in Epsom High Street. They have a fine reputation for all things equestrian from bespoke hat-fitting to a splendid range of Dubarry country boots.
Book your trip to enjoy everything that the Epsom Derby meeting has to offer!
Holiday Inn Express Epsom Downs, is a three-star hotel which is situated within the grounds of the racecourse. There are 120 en-suite bedrooms available and the hotel is ideal for both leisure and business travellers. Standard rooms have a double bed and a foldaway sofa bed and will comfortably accommodate 2 adults and 2 children up to the age of 18.
All public areas within the hotel are fully air-conditioned with free WiFi access. Trains depart from Epsom Station to London Waterloo and Victoria every 10 minutes and the hotel is just a short drive from Heathrow and Gatwick International Airports.
The Chalk Lane Hotel is tucked away in a scenic corner of old Epsom within easy reach of the racecourse. Excellent cuisine and professional service in beautiful surroundings will ensure a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
The Nonsuch Park Hotel is situated opposite Nonsuch Park on the A24 London Road. It is only 2 miles from Epsom town centre and is a small family-run Hotel. It prides itself on providing a relaxed atmosphere with excellent food and bedrooms at an affordable price.
Book your stay for the Epsom Derby Stakes well in advance to avoid disappointment!
There are numerous fine restaurants and eateries within the racecourse itself. The Derby Suite is one of the most exclusive and intimate hospitality areas, an ideal place to entertain guests as the drama unfolds on the track. The suite provides unrivalled views of the finishing straight and parade ring from large private balconies.
Fine dine at the Chez Roux Blue Riband restaurant, a stunning facility offering a four-course a la carte menu. You will also have access to the Queen’s Stand Enclosure where you can mix with royalty and celebrities!
If you prefer to dine in the town, 143 The Canopy on the High Street is a restaurant specialising in modern English cuisine. Main courses include fillet steak served on black rock or oven-roasted whole sea bream with caper berry dressing and sautéed sweet potato.
If you want to spice things up, visit Le Raj on Fir Tree Road. It is widely regarded as one of the best Indian restaurants in England. The menu includes Morchana: marinated lean chicken cooked with hand ground roasted spices, green chillies and fresh coriander.
Book your stay for the Epsom Derby now!
For air travellers, Epsom Downs is only 18 miles from Gatwick International and 25 miles from Heathrow.
The Epsom racecourse is served by rail stations at Epsom Downs (1 mile) and Tattenham Corner (half a mile). Epsom Station is connected by both South West Trains and Southern Trains with frequent connections from London Waterloo and London Victoria.
A shuttle bus service is in operation during The Derby meeting. Her Majesty The Queen alights from the British Royal Train at Tattenham Corner on race days.
Book your travel arrangements for the Epsom Derby now!
If arriving by road, the racecourse is just a few minutes from Epsom Town Centre on the B290 Epsom Downs Road. Alternatively, it is just off junction 9 of the M25. If you have satellite navigation, key in the postcode: KT18 5LQ.
Legend has it that The Derby was named as a result of a toss of a coin between the 12th Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury, the Steward of the Jockey Club. The inaugural running of the Derby was held on Thursday 4th May 1780 and was won by Diomed, a colt owned by Bunbury.
The Derby was originally raced over 1 mile but was extended to 1½ miles in 1784. Lord Derby won the race for the first time in 1787 with Sir Peter Teazle.
In 1838 the Derby was moved to the first Wednesday in June and became second only to the Grand National in terms of its significance to the wider public. The name Derby was adopted across the globe to denote the best race for three-year-olds each season.
In 1913 the suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of the King’s horse during the Derby, bringing him down. Davison was badly injured in the collision and died four days later.
The roll of honour for the Derby includes many of the finest thoroughbreds in the history of horse racing. These include Ormonde, Hyperion, Sea-Bird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar. While many experts argue that Sea Bird was the greatest Derby winner of all time, it is the Shergar story which has captured the public’s imagination.
The handsome colt with the white blaze won the Derby by ten lengths for His Highness The Aga Khan. After just one year at stud, he was stolen from his stable in Ireland and a ransom demand was made to his syndicate of owners. The story has been told in numerous books and on film but his fate remains a mystery.