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The Cazoo Derby

3.00pm Epsom

MD
  • Distance 1m 4f 10y
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £1,125,000

History

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

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

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

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Kirby earns ultimate reprieve as Adayar wins Cazoo Derby

Jockey Adam Kirby dealt the Cazoo Derby a 16/1 shock on Adayar, just days after losing the ride on John Leeper to Frankie Dettori.

Instead, he was given the Godolphin third string Adayar to ride on Cazoo Derby Day – and what a ride in turned out to be. A first British Classic win on a beautiful day at Epsom, in front of crowds for the first time since 2019.

Gear Up and Youth Spirit took the field along in the opening stages of the race, closely tracked by Ryan Moore and hot-favourite Bolshoi Ballet – Aidan O’Brien’s only runner in the race. It wasn’t until rounding Tattenham Corner that the race began to unfold.

Gear up was first off the bridle as runners from midfield began to creep closer, including Hurricane Lane, Mac Swiney and eventual second Mojo Star. Bolshoi Ballet could not go with the pace and began to lose ground.

Taking the shortest route, Adam Kirby crept down a charmed passage on the far side rail, and began to push his mount forward four furlongs out.

The response was gradual, but effective, as he nudged into the lead. Most of his rivals were toiling at this point, and the colt engaged his stamina on the run in. It looked as if only stablemate Hurricane Lane or Mojo Star could catch him, but in truth the race was won with over a furlong to go.

Kirby then pushed his mount out, passed the line several lengths ahead and the jockey let out a huge roar in delight.

Mojo Star and the young David Egan riding in the race for the first time claimed second. Godolphin stablemate Hurricane Lane and William Buick a further two lengths back in 2nd.

After the race, a delighted Adam Kirby, said: “Quite unbelievable, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I can’t thank Charlie Appleby enough, he is the most loyal man.”

“I just hope my mother and my kids were watching!”

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

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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View fixtures

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