The historic Epsom Downs Racecourse is located in the Northern Downs of Surrey. The racecourse boasts a number of distinct features, including an undulating turf, which tests the ability and stamina of rider and racehorse to the limit. Epsom Racecourse is located on public land, which gives the general public the opportunity to watch racing on Epsom Downs for free
The Epsom Derby
Known simply as the 'Derby'in the UK, the Epsom Derby is considered by many racing fans to be the greatest thoroughbred race on the planet. Here is our helpful guide.
The Epsom Derby – An Incomparable Heritage
Known simply as the ‘Derby’ to the inhabitants of the United Kingdom, the Epsom Derby is considered by many horse racing fans to be the greatest thoroughbred race on the planet. First raced over the vacant expanses of the Epsom Downs in 1780, the race was named after 12th Earl of Derby following a coin toss organised to establish which of he or Sir Charles Bunbury would provide his name to the race for posterity. During subsequent centuries the Epsom Derby grew steadily in both popularity and prestige, until it came to represent the pinnacle of flat racing in the United Kingdom. In over 200 years of racing, the Epsom Derby has been won by a selection of the finest thoroughbreds to have graced British turf, with the likes of Flying Fox, Sea-Bird and Nijinsky all forging their legends on the Epsom Downs.
Epsom Derby Facts
The Epsom Derby is run annually on the first weekend in June as part of the Derby Festival. The Derby is rated as a Group One race, the highest level of thoroughbred racing, with entry restricted to 3-year old colts and fillies. The event draws top quality fields, and represents a battle between the season’s top 3-year old colts. The Epsom Derby is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards on a left-handed turf track at Epsom Downs Racecourse. The race is considered to be the second leg of the English Triple Crown, and is one of the richest races in English flat racing, awarding a purse of £1,250,000.