The Derby at Epsom is one of the most famous and iconic races in the sport and attracts a massive global audience each year. The race is the most prestigious of the five British classics with three year old colts and fillies eligible to enter the race at Epsom. The Derby takes place over the one mile four furlong trip at Epsom which is one of the most undulating courses in the sport making it the ultimate test for the runners. The Derby was first run all the way back in 1780 which highlights the history and stature behind the race which remains one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in the UK and around the world. The prize pot for the Epsom Derby in 2011 was a massive £1.25million which ensures the race attracts the best horses from the UK, Ireland and France on a regular basis.
The Derby has produced a number of memorable winners during its long and illustrious history with none more legendary than Nijinsky won the race in 1970. The Vincent OBrien trained horse won the Derby on his way to becoming the last horse to win the famed Triple Crown with the 2000 Guineas and St Leger also on his bulging CV. Another notable name on the Derby roll of honour is that of Shergar who hit the headlines around the world following his brilliant success in the race. The Irish trained horse won the race by an astonishing 10 lengths in 1981 which is a record winning distance that remains in place to this day. That legend has grown since then of course after Shergar was kidnapped in 1983 by masked gunmen but regardless of that his Derby win was a stunning performance.
In recent years the Derby has continued to prove itself as the biggest single race of the flat season in the UK and there have been some winners of the very highest calibre. Aidan OBrien trained Galileo to success in 2001 and he has gone onto become one of the most prolific sires in recent memory with his win in the Derby a career highlight. There is however no doubt that the best horse to win the Derby since the turn of the century was Sea The Stars who won in fine style in 2009. The John Oxx horse followed up his 2000 Guineas win with glory at Epsom as he embarked on an unbeaten season that saw him sweep all before him across the UK, Ireland and France. It is worth noting that no horse bigger than 7/1 has won the Derby since the turn of the century so punters need to be keeping a close eye on the head betting when looking for the winner of the big race. On the Friday before the big race, the Epsom Oaks in another of the main races of this meeting.
Recent Winners of the Epsom Derby