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The Betfred Derby Festival

Facts about The Betfred Derby Festival

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The Betfred Derby takes place every year at Epsom Downs Racecourse on the first Saturday in June. It’s one of the most anticipated flat horse races in England, and has a long and colourful history. Learn some of the most fascinating The Betfred Derby facts below.

Facts about past Betfred Derby winners and runners

Auguste Rodin ridden by Ryan Moore won the race in 2023, trained by  Aidan O'Brien and owned by Tabor/Smith/Magnier/Westerberg.


Desert Crown ridden by Richard Kingscote won the race. Desert Crown is trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by Mr Saeed Suhail.

Serpentine ridden by Emmet McNamara won the race and trainer Aidan O'Brien become the most successful Derby-winning trainer of all time.


Serpentine out in front on his way to win the 2020 Investec Derby

The Derby 2017 winner was Wings of Eagles ridden by Padraig Beggy, who won with odds of 40/1 - the biggest upset for 43 years.


In 2016 the 237th Derby winner was Harzand, ridden by jockey Pat Smullen with odds of 13/2, on 4th of June 2016.


Whilst the Derby is open to three-year old colts and fillies, today the Derby is rarely contested by fillies. The last filly to run in the Derby was Cape Verdi in 1998.

Six fillies have won the Derby, the most recent being Fifinella in 1916. The other five fillies who have won the Derby are: Eleanor in 1801, Blink Bonny in 1857, Shotover in 1882, Signorinetta in 1908 and Tagalie in 1912.

Historical Facts

The 1913 Epsom Derby is also known as the “Suffragette Derby” because suffragette Emily Davison was killed when she ran out in front of King George V’s horse. Davison was a militant suffragette who campaigned for votes for women in the UK. The horse hit Davison as she tried to grab its reins, and she died from her injuries four days later.

Epsom Derby Racecourse Facts

Horseracing is a key plotline in popular TV series Peaky Blinders, so much so that the Epsom Derby features. The sixth and final episode of season two takes place at the Epsom Derby, set in 1920’s England.

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