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The Cazoo Derby

3.00pm Epsom

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


The richest, most prestigious Classic of the British Flat season and often referred to as the ‘Blue Riband’ of the turf, the CazooDerby 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 Cazoo 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 Cazoo Derby, sealing a Classic double for jockey Ryan Moore, who had won The Cazoo 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




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


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

Serpentine sprang a 25-1 surprise as he made all for a famous victory. One of six runners for Aidan O’Brien – who was winning the race for an incredible eighth time – Serpentine had only shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking the previous weekend.

Turning out just seven days later, Serpentine appeared to be filling the pacemaker role for better-fancied stable companions, including Mogul, with Khalifa Sat and fellow O’Brien contender Amhran Na Bhfiann the only ones to really try to go with him.



But Serpentine and emmet McNamara, riding in the premier Classic for the frst time, had built up a huge advantage by Tattenham Corner, and the Galileo colt was not for stopping – galloping all the way to the line for a five-and-a-half-length verdict.

Khalifa Sat, a 50-1 shot, hung on for second, while Amhran Na Bhfiann was third at 66-1. Kameko, winner of the 2000 Guineas, was a fast-finisher in fourth, having been sent off the 5-2 favourite, while English King was fifth and Mogul sixth under Ryan Moore.

O’Brien said: “We try to give each horse the best chance of winning and ride them all accordingly.

“This horse (Serpentine) made the running last time and was very happy to go forward if nobody else wanted to. He won a maiden very impressively and he absolutely ran through the line over a mile and a quarter at the Curragh – to do that you have to have class.

“We all watched the race together at home and Donnacha (O’Brien, son) said after five furlongs ‘Emmet wins here’. He was in front and there was no one going to challenge him – he was not going to stop.

“Emmet gave him a brilliant ride and judged the pace really well.”

On setting a new record for Derby victories, he added: “We’re so delighted, but we’re in a privileged position to have such unbelievable horses and to work for and with such special people.

“It’s a position very few people will ever get into. The horses have incredible pedigrees and everyone puts their heart and soul into it day in, day out. Everyone loves what they do and we appreciate all the opportunities that we get.”


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

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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