The Epsom Derby, also known as the “Derby” or the” Investec Derby” is undoubtedly the most prestigious thoroughbred horse race in England. It is an annual event that takes place every June at the Epsom Down Racecourse in Surrey. Millions of horse race fans and punters wait for this race with great anticipation. It presents bettors with the chance to wager on their favourite horses as well as cheer them from the stands.
If you wonder how and where you can bet on the Epsom Derby, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about betting on the Derby.
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Structure of the Epsom Derby
The Derby is one of the well-respected 5 Classic English horse races. It is a competition for three-year-old fillies and colts. It takes place on a 2400 meters long turf at the great Epsom Down Racecourse.
The History of Epsom Derby Festival
The history of the Epsom Derby festival goes back to the 17th century. It revolves around the Earls of Derby. However, historians recorded the first race at the Downs in 1661.
In 1778, Sir Edward Stanley and Charles Bunbury, who were part of the 12th Earl of the Derby, came up with a race between 3-year-old fillies. This event would be known as “the Oaks.”
In 1779, Bridget, one of the horses in this competition, won the first-ever Oaks.
The victory led to a celebration, where Derby and Bunbury conceived another race idea. This time around, the new race would be similar to the Oaks, but it would accommodate both fillies and colts. Soon after, a coin toss ensued between Derby and Bunbury. Derby won the coin toss and the rights to name the race. He proudly called it the Derby.
The first Epsom Derby was held in 1780, and Diomed, a horse, owned by Bunbury, won it decisively. Since then, the Derby has evolved into a distinguished horse racing festival across the globe. Today, it is a multi-day and multifaceted horse racing event.
Usually, the Oak is run on Friday, and the Derby follows on Saturday. During the Derby Day, women show up wearing fancy hats. It is a high fashion event that allows attendees to wear and showcase formal clothes.
Classic Epsom Derby Champions
Ever since the Epsom Derby started, some Thoroughbreds have done exceptionally well at the race tracks. These are the notable champions that have made history. For instance, in 1886, a horse named Ormonde entered in the history books of the Derby. He competed in 16 races without ever losing a single one of them throughout his career.
Sea-Bird is another horse that went unbeaten for 7 out of 8 races. He went on to win famously in the Prix’ de L’Arc de Triomphe in France.
In 1971, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerrard had a great rivalry on the Epsom racecourse tracks. Eventually, Mill Reef would silence the critics after winning 12 out of 14 races. Four years after this rivalry, Grundy emerged as one of the feared champions of the Epsom Derby. His most notable win was a race dubbed as “The Race of the Century. ” In the competition, Grundy beat Bustino, who was a bitter but worthy rival.
Shergar holds a racing record that no other horse has managed to break since 1981. He won a race by a staggering ten lengths.
Epsom Derby Traditions
In the beginning, the Epsom Derby was part of a larger celebration popularly known as the Epsom fair. However, it is no longer under the shadow of this festivity. Having evolved into a world-class racing festival, it runs for four days and draws attention among horse racing enthusiasts across the globe. More so, it garners tremendous interest from punters.
Nonetheless, this festival has maintained most of its traditions such as the Ladies Day
The Queen and the Epsom Derby
For 70 years, Her Majesty, the Queen, has attended the Epsom Derby religiously.
The Queen owns several racehorses and relishes watching the best horse racing during the Investec Derby. She first participated in this event shortly after her coronation in 1953 to watch Aureole racing. She was her first runner bred by King George VI, who was her late father. Aureole did not win the first race, but she clenched the victory in her second year.
In the 2016 Investec Derby, the Queen was given the honours to present the prestigious Epsom Derby trophy. The same year, the Coronation cup was renamed after her. The management of the Derby did it in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
Most recently, the Queen attended the 2019 Investec Derby, where she unveiled a spectacular bronze statue. This was to honour Lester Piggott, a nine-time winner of this competition. The Royal Family continues to enjoy a close association with this Derby.
How to Get to the Epsom Downs Racecourse
There are several ways that you could use to get to the Epsom Down Racecourse. It all depends on where you are coming from and how soon you want to arrive at the racecourse. Here are a few ways to access the racecourse:
Heathrow Airport is about 27 miles from the Epsom Down Racecourse, while Gatwick Airport is just 18 miles away. Those who would fancy a helicopter ride can land on the Downs. However, you need to seek approval from the course management a few hours or days before. Each flight has a maximum of 5 people.
The Epsom Rail connects the southern and the southwest trains. It has been a popular transport option for racegoers attending the Epsom Derby for a long time. All you need to do is take a 10-minute bus or taxi ride from the station. After alighting from the train, the Derby Shuttle Service makes it relatively quick to get to the racecourse. Racegoers can either opt for the Tattenham Corner Station or the Epsom Down Station.
Some racegoers may prefer to drive to the venue for various reasons. If that is the case, you can either take B290 Epsom Road or the M25. Drivers can alternatively use satellite navigation to find their way using postcode KT185LQ.
The AA route is also another excellent option. Users should choose KT185LQ as their destination.
During the race season, the AA marks the most convenient approach routes to help attendees find the racecourse with the utmost ease.
A bus ride to the Epsom Downs is quite rewarding as attendees get to relax and enjoy the spectacular view of various parts of the town.
A Metrobus is available, and it operates within 480,460 and 406 F. This bus service serves the Epsom Town Centre, all the way to the Tattenham Corner station.
The Epsom Derby Racecourse
Stanly Wotton purchased what is now known as the Epsom Derby racecourse in 1925. The reason for buying this piece of land was to ensure that horses train without public interference. Despite the racecourse being open for other uses such as cycling and golfing, all users must adhere to the purchase order rules.
The Epsom Derby Racecourse is a grade 1 course that can hold up to 130,000 racegoers. It has several enclosures that provide various views to the race tracks. The course has a shape that resembles a horseshoe, and it is home to two classic races. It is under the management of the Walton Downs and the Epsom conservators.
Epsom Derby attendees have several enclosures to choose from. Each of these sections has something unique to offer.
The Queen’s stand is among the most popular enclosures at the Epsom Derby. It has an upbeat feel and various forms of entertainment that deliver a fantastic experience for the attendees. If you choose this area, you can expect lots of entertainment, ranging from music to picnics. One of the Queen’s Stand’s unique qualities is that it sits right next to the finish line. Viewers also get an incredible view of the winners’ circle.
Racegoers who opt for the Queen’s Stand get exclusive access to the Parading Ring.
Additionally, they get a rare chance to follow their favourite horse to the tracks. Those with the Queen’s Stand tickets are free to explore the Duchess’s stand and visit various bookmakers’ shops.
Other exciting areas that you can explore include the Derby Hall and the public betting hall.
The Grandstand houses the Duchess stand. The atmosphere in this enclosure is relaxing, and the management reserves a few strategic seats that racegoers can book beforehand. Once you book your heart, you are guaranteed to retain the spot throughout the race. From this stand, attendees have access to the various betting facilities and the Paddocks.
The Lonsdale Enclosure
The Lonsdale Enclosure has become tremendously popular over the years. One of its unique features includes the open-top buses that usually line up along the tracks. The management allows food and drinks in this glass enclosure, and its highlight is its proximity to the racing action.
The Upper Tattenham Enclosure
The Upper Tattenham Enclosure is the fastest rising section of the Epsom Down racecourse. It is mainly known for its trackside view. If you like to see the horses go past you at close range, this is your ideal section. The best part is that you can carry your food and drinks and watch the race unperturbed.
The Moët & Chandon Terrace
If you want to have the best experience during the Epsom Derby Festival, try the luxurious Moët & Chandon Terrace, which is located within the Queen’s Stand. There is a live DJ that plays music for attendees in this section throughout the race.
Racegoers can enjoy a glass of champagne as they watch their favourite horse battle it out at the tracks. The view of the race from this stand is elevated. If you buy a ticket for this stand, you will not miss any highlight of the race.
Epsom Derby Festival Betting
Like we have said, most horse race lovers look forward to the Epsom Festival so that they can wager on their favourite horses. And hopefully, watch them win; this experience makes the Derby more thrilling. If you are one of these people, here are some details about the Epsom Derby festival betting that you should know.
An accumulator bet refers to betting on several horses in the Epsom Derby. For instance, you could select winners in all the seven races. Winnings from one selection are placed on the next one.
Form refers to the performance of the horse. If the horse has been on three races winning streak, it is in good form. A horse that has lost several races consecutively is in poor form.
The weight of a horse could influence its performance. Allowance means that the bookie gives its weight concession to compensate for the inexperience of the jockey.
Evens or Even Money
Evens are bets that double your money. You place a £10 stake to win £10.
The bar is a betting that indicates odds of a horse with prices that are not listed by the bookmaker, but they do exist.
When betting at the Investec Derby, you will sometimes encounter odds that are lower than your stake. For example, you could wager £6 to win £3.
On the Nose
On the nose is where you bet for a particular horse to win the race.
The ‘also run’ refers to selecting any horse that will not finish in the first four positions.
Placed bets revolve around picking any horse to finish in the first three positions.
SP is the official odds through which a bookie settles the winning bets.
Epsom Derby Festival Ante-Post Betting
One of the most famous horse race bets is the ante-post bet. Bookmakers release the odds of the Epsom Derby horse races a few months before the festival. As such, some punters start placing their bets in advance when the odds are still high. As the race approaches, the odds may lose a few points. Therefore, ante-post betting is betting in advance. It is quite a high-risk way of betting that could be tremendously rewarding if all goes as you predicted.
Sometimes, punters want to bet on an ongoing horse race. Bookmakers offer in-play betting to allow bettors to wager on such races.
Where to Bet on the Racecourse
Racegoers who love to bet can either do it on the Epsom Down racecourse or online.
Different stands have walk-in betting shops where you look at the racecards and inform the attendant which horse you want to back. Usually, the odds are displayed in these shops.
Punters are only required to identify a bet type and hand over their stake. The attendant prints a bet slip that the bettor holds on to until the race ends. In case of a win, you just head back to the shop to claim your winnings.
Betting companies also have betting outlets in various towns, meaning that you can get a betting shop quite easily.
Bookmakers set up betting stands on every enclosure because the ultimate objective is to allow racegoers to place their bets conveniently. What this means is that you just walk into a stand and point out a particular horse to win the race, get a bet slip, and later claim your winnings if all goes well.
At the Epsom Derby, you do not have to always bet against the bookmaker. The tote at the racecourse works more like a lottery. Punters stakes are put in one pool, and the prize money is divided among the winning tickets. However, the prize money is determined once the bookmakers deduct their cut.
Best Betting Sites for the Epsom Derby Festival 2021
You obviously want to get a piece of the betting proceeds from Investec Derby. There are a good number of online gambling providers out there who will cover this exciting horse racing event. It would therefore be best if you can find an online betting operator with competitive odds and excellent service. In this section, we will list for you some of the most reliable betting sites.
Bet365 is a reputable online bookmaker that is known across the globe. A betting site of its calibre never misses the opportunity to feature the Epsom Derby markets. This operator has been in the bookmaking business since 1974. With time, they have evolved to offer an exciting online betting experience. Bet365 offers all the races taking place at the Epsom Derby.
What’s more, horse race punters can bet on the Investec Derby through their mobile phones or computers. In case of a win, you get paid instantly.
Besides that, this site provides a host of horse racing betting options. Punters can even place ante-post bets and get the highest odds. Want to find out more, read our bet365 review.
888sport is yet another popular and respected horse race sportsbook. They are licensed in the United Kingdom and Malta. Therefore, punters can expect a seamless betting experience.
If you choose to bet on 888sport, you can take advantage of several bountiful promotions and bonuses. These include sign up bonuses for new customers among others.
In terms of payment methods, 888sport has partnered with reputable money transfer services. Customers can fund their betting accounts through their cards or e-wallets. The same techniques are available for the withdrawal of winnings.
The 888sport website is optimised for mobile phones and computers. Punters can bet on a variety of races at the Epsom Derby without leaving their seats.
Having been in the betting industry for over five decades, Betfred has made a name for itself among horse racing punters. Their site is well organised and easy to navigate. They also offer high odds for bettors.
Betfred features some of the most prominent horse racing festivals such as the Epsom Derby, the Oaks, among others.
Most importantly, Betfred offers a variety of payment options to enable customers to deposit and withdraw funds safely. Bettors also enjoy world-class customer support. The customer service team is always on standby to offer solutions to any emerging problems.
Betfred has a highly responsive site and mobile phone app. And with the cash-out option, you can choose to cut your losses or accept part of your winnings before the race ends. Want to find out more, read our Betfred review.
Betfair is undoubtedly one of the largest online sportsbooks across the globe. Its bet exchange program sets it apart from other providers. They even have a blog where they publish tips and additional useful information for punters.
Betfair has a welcome bonus for new horse race punters. And when it comes to usability, the Betfair horse racing section is user-friendly.
Top racing events such as the Epsom Derby are displayed on the front page during the race days to ensure that punters find the highlights of the day easily.
The sportsbook offers two mobile platforms. One for the betting exchanges, and another one for the ordinary bets. Want to find out more, read our Betfair sportsbook review.
When is the Epsom Derby 2023?
The 2023 Epsom Derby festival will start on Friday, 2nd June, at the Epsom Down Racecourse.
Ladies Day will be the first event of this festival. During this day, well-dressed ladies and gentlemen will showcase their sense of fashion to win the Style Award. On Saturday, the Derby will follow. Seven horse races, including the celebrated Flat Race, will be held on this day.
What Time is the Derby?
The Derby will commence at 4:30 PM on Saturday, 5th June. If you won’t make it to the racecourse, you can watch it live from the comfort of your home.
How to Watch the Epsom Derby Festival in 2023
ITV and Racing TV are among the broadcasters that will show the 2023 Epsom Derby.
The Epsom Derby is a massive event for horse race fanatics across the globe. Besides the fun that comes with it, you get lots of betting opportunities. If you have read this guide keenly, then you can take advantage of this event and win some good money.