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The Investec Derby

Epsom

MD
  • Distance 1m 4f 10y
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £1,625,000
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History

The richest, most prestigious Classic of the British Flat season and often referred to as the ‘Blue Riband’ of the turf, the Investec Derby is run at Epsom Downs over an undulating one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards (2,400 metres), in early June.

It is open to three-year-old colts and fillies, though as with the 2000 Guineas, fillies very rarely run.  They have the Investec Oaks over the same course and distance reserved for them the previous day. Workforce produced a blistering finish as well as a record winning time to take the 2010 Investec Derby, sealing a Classic double for jockey Ryan Moore, who had won The Investec Oaks 24 hours earlier. Workforce, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, stormed past 100-1 shot At First Sight to win by seven lengths. The race was watched by a crowd of more than 100,000.

Three Irish jockeys stand out in recent years, Kieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh and Michael Kinane, all claiming three Derbys. Add all their wins together and you get evergreen Lester Piggott’s Derby roll of honour – nine wins over 29 years. Kinane had the honour in 2009 of riding home on Sea The Stars, regarded by many as one of the best European thoroughbreds of all time.

Aidan O’Brien became the only trainer to win the race three times in a row (2012-14) and in 2020 achieved a record- seventh breaking eighth success.

The Derby was first run in 1780, a year after the inaugural Oaks. The 12th Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury, the Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, are said to have tossed a coin to decide who the race should be named after, although Bunbury probably deferred to his host. The widest winning margin was recorded by the ill-fated Shergar during his 10-length triumph in 1981.

Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 2 wins (2007 and 2015); Ryan Moore 2 wins (2010 and 2015).
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 8 wins (2001, 2002, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Aidan O'Brien's outsider makes all in remarkable Derby ride by Emmet McNamara

The son of Galileo, Serpentine, stunned the Investec Derby field to lead all the way and win the Epsom Classic at odds of 28/1.

Jockey Emmet McNamara’s decision to kick clear on Serpentine, who only broke his maiden tag one week ago, around Tattenham corner caught all his rivals off guard and saw the outsider create a massive lead that none of the big-hitters could overcome.

The victory for the Coolmore operation was  an incredible eighth Derby win for master trainer Aidan O’Brien.

With few willing to make the running, Serpentine was sent out early on and saw no rivals upsides from there on in. Turning into the straight he held a seven length with few of the jockeys in behind showing much concern about the deficit they faced.

With just over two furlongs to go it became clear that the jockeys had given Serpentine much too much of a soft advantage. Some ground was made up in the closing stages but it was too  little too late, with all of the market principles finishing out of the top three.

Winning-jockey Emmet McNamara summed it up perfectly post-race  saying, “It was a freebie really”.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

If it weren’t for the 12th Earl of Derby, perhaps Epsom would be best known for natural mineral water, London commuters or bath salts. That or the fact that Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page came from the Surrey town. As it is, Epsom stands for horseracing, and the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby in particular.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

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The earl invited his friends to race their fillies on the Epsom Downs in 1779 and thus The Oaks was born. A year later and a second race, for colts and fillies, was introduced. A toss of a coin and it became known as The Derby

(if the earl’s friend, Sir Charles Bunbury, had called right then flat racing’s Blue Riband event might today be called ‘The Epsom Bunbury’).

The racecourse has witnessed some of the sport’s most glorious moments, with Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar among the horses to enter the winner’s enclosure. It has also seen tragedy, however, when suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of King George V’s horse Anmer in 1913 and died of a fractured skull.

Getting there

Epsom Downs
KT18 5LQ

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