The Epsom Derby is one of sport’s, if not life’s, truly unique spectacles. Few events can proudly call both Her Majesty The Queen and one of the country’s largest congregations of the travelling community guests on a day when hundreds of thousands descend on The Downs with the same thing in mind – back the winner of Britain’s richest race and have a jolly good day out in the process.
Since 1780 crowds have thronged to the spectacular course high on the Epsom Downs area of outstanding natural beauty to witness the cream of the thoroughbred crop race for £1.5 million in prize money. Naturally, with that much at stake it takes a pretty special horse to win The Derby, with the “ultimate test” requiring speed, stamina and poise in equal measure.
Whether you want to rub shoulders with royalty in your top hat and tails, or have dodgem rides between races in shorts and a T-shirt, you’ll be covered for that and everything in between at a meeting which caters for all. Also – and uniquely for any major sporting event in this country – revellers can attend completely free of charge if they want to watch the action unfold from the “Hill” enclosure. If you can’t attend, make sure you catch ITV’s Bafta-winning coverage with the big race going off at 4.30pm.
Our expert tipster – fresh from landing the winner of both the Grand National and Eurovision so far this year – has cast his eye over the big race runners and riders to give his 1-2-3, but if you fancy doing your own form study, the expert number crunchers at bonuscodebets.co.uk are on hand to provide you with the key stats.
Most importantly, please remember to only bet what you can afford to lose. Keep it fun, gamble responsibly and shop around when choosing who to bet with – bookies are feeling as generous as they will ever be ahead of the World Cup, so there are plenty of appealing offers out there if you’re downloading a betting app for the first time.
Key Derby betting stats
* Aiden O’Brien is the trainer to follow – the Irish master has landed four of the last six runnings.
* The odds are usually pretty informative – four of the last 12 winners have been favourites, and 11 of the last 12 featured in the bookies’ top three.
* Don’t worry about course form – most contenders are seeing this track for the first time with none of the last 12 winners having had a win or even a run at Epsom beforehand.
* Season fitness is critical – every winner since 2006 has had at least two spins prior to Derby Day.
* British trained horses don’t have a great record, with only two succeeding since 2010 and the remainder going to French or Irish runners.
The Derby 1-2-3
1st Saxon Warrior evens
2nd Hazapour 7/1
3rd Sevenna Star 25/1
Saxon Warrior can defy the less than ideal rain softened ground to land The Derby for master trainer Aiden O’Brien for the seventh time. Unbeaten in his four career starts to date, Saxon Warrior won both of his trials (The Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket) in a manner suggesting today’s extra distance will play to his strengths and, thanks to the showers that have fallen this week, his odds have eased to a much more appealing position. The very best horses go on any ground, don’t forget.
Impeccable pilot and two-time Derby winner Ryan Moore rides which is another plus and remember to keep an eye on the colour of his hat as unhelpfully for the novice punter, another three horses compete under the same ownership banner and therefore in the same silks.
The nation’s favourite jockey Frankie Dettori should get a decent spin out of Hazapour who’ll land a podium finish while at much longer odds it could pay to have a few quid on Sandown trial stakes winner Sevenna Star who will be rattling home at the finish in his distinctive red colours.