Epsom Derby-The British Classic Horse Race
Saturday 1st June 2019 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.
Image by: Monkeywing
Epsom Derby 2017 Winner: Wings of Eagles
Epsom Derby 2018 Winner: Masar
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.
Epsom Downs Race Course
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.
First Epsom Race
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.
Tickets sell quickly for the Epsom Derby! Don’t delay – reserve your Derby day tickets now!