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The Cazoo Derby

The Cazoo Derby Stakes, also known as the Epsom Derby or simply The 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 Epsom Derby facts below.



Facts about Past Epsom Derby winners and runners

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

Anthony Van Dyke won the Epsom Derby in 2019 - a bay colt ridden by jockey Seamie Heffernan with odds of 13/2. Click the link to find out more about the 2019 Epsom Derby results and runners.

Masar won the 239th Epsom Derby in 2018, ridden by jockey William Buick with odds of 16/1. Learn more about recent Epsom Derby results.

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

Sinndar under Johnny Murtagh for trainer John Oxx won the Epsom Derby in 2000.

Whilst the Epsom 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 Epsom Derby was Cape Verdi in 1998.

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

Lester Piggot is the greatest of all Epsom Derby winners, having won the race a total of nine times during his career.



Epsom Derby history facts

The first ever Epsom Derby took place in 1780, making the event over 240 years old.

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

The Epsom Derby is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and six yards, or 2,420 metres.

The Cazoo Derby Stakes winner for 2021 will get prize money totalling £1.125 million.

The number of horses racing in the Epsom Derby may vary from year to year, depending on how many qualify and are fit to race, however generally between 12 and 16 horses will compete in the Epsom Derby race, and never more than 20.

The process to enter a horse into the Epsom Derby can take around 18 months and several stages, each with costs associated. Depending on when a horse is entered, it can cost between £7,860 and £85,000 to enter the Epsom Derby. 


Yearlings can be entered into future races at a cost £560. In the March of the year the horse reaches three years old, owners must pay a further £1100 to stay in the race. If they were not entered as yearlings, three-year-old horses can enter in April at a cost of £9000. 


In mid-May yearling entries then pay a further £3400, while three-year-olds must pay £11250 to stay in. On the Monday of the Derby week a final payment of £2800 is made. There is one final opportunity to enter the race at this point - known as a supplementary entry - at a cost of £85,000.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s love of horse racing is well known, and she has missed only two Epsom Derbies since she first attended as a princess in 1946. It is tradition for the Queen to arrive at the Epsom Derby by motorcade through Tattenham Corner to the Queen's Stand enclosure on Derby Day, before the races begin.

A total of seven races take place on Derby Day at Epsom Racecourse.

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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