The Derby, alongside The Guineas, The Oaks, and St. Leger, form the foundation of the British Flat racing season called The Classics.
However, it is the most prestigious and well-known race among the five Classics. It is worth around £1,500,000 with the winner receiving more than half of it.
The Derby runs over a mile and a half at Epsom on the first Saturday in June. Epsom’s unforgiving terrain requires flawless coordination and a combination of speed, balance, and stamina. All those combinations make it an exceptional test of thoroughbreds and the climax of horse race seasons in the UK.
Since its origin in the 1780s, the race, also known as Epsom Derby or the Derby Stakes, has gained enormous popularity. Everyone from local citizens to Britain’s most famous aristocrats attend the events.
In recent years, The Derby has attracted more than 150,000 attendants plus millions of viewers watching on TV. This event also sparks a massive interest in betting on horse racing during Derby Day.
The Derby’s Popularity
Legend says The Derby was named after its founder, Lord Derby, after a coin toss between him and Sir Charles Bunbury during the conception of the race. Since then, the race has become the highlight of the cultural and sporting calendar in Britain.
Not only was it the first outdoor sport to be televised, it was also named one of Britain’s great national sporting events. Even the Queen of England is a regular attendant of Derby Day at Epsom Downs.
The Derby serves as the middle leg of the historical Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It precedes 2000 Guineas and is followed by St. Leger; both are also considered among the five Classics.
While commonly regarded as a race for three-year-old colts, the Derby is also open for both colts and fillies. As for the contenders, the race allows colts to carry 9 st while fillies to carry 8 st 11 lb. They will race at Epsom Downs’ mile-and-a-half racecourse.
The Derby’s popularity in the UK and around the world has inspired several races all around the globe. One of the most famous events inspired by it is The Kentucky Derby, known as the oldest American Derby.
There are other counterparts in other parts of the world, such as The Australian Derby, The Irish Derby, Derby Italiano, and many others.
Featured Race in The Derby
There are several other races run during the Derby Days period around Epsom. The Derby is inarguably the main event—the race of the day. The feature race is a highly contentious and prestigious Group 1 flat race open for colts and fillies aged three.
Aside from the main race, you can still enjoy other competitive races like Diomed Stakes, a Group 3 mile-and-a-hundred-yard race for colts and geldings aged three or older.
Meanwhile, Princess Elizabeth Stakes presents a Group 3 race over a mile and a hundred yards for fillies and mares aged three or older.
Epsom Dash offers one of the most competitive races in the UK’s racing calendar with a five-furlong sprint handicap for horses aged three or older.
Betting on The Derby
The Derby is the most important event among The Classics. It garners thousands of live attendants and even more audiences tuning in on its television broadcast. With its sheer popularity, betting on Epsom Derby becomes a massive event that creates massive demand for bookmakers in the UK and Ireland—whether in online betting sites or offline betting shops.
As in many big sports events, top online bookmakers will have special promotions and exclusive betting offers to celebrate The Derby. You can expect free bets on The Derby or limited-time Derby betting offers, which might include sign-up offers and other freebies.
Tips to Win the Derby’s Betting
As in other big horse races, the key to successful betting is to keep in mind that statistics matter. Observing statistics and performance tracks before placing your bet on a specific horse might be the game-changer if you are looking for a big win.
Normally, you must find out as much information as possible regarding the race details. However, The Derby’s long-running format and details have saved you up some time to research other factors better.
You only need to be mindful that it is a mile-and-a-half race for colts and fillies aged three.
Horse Details & Form
Find out as much information as possible about the competing horses. Information such as the names, postpositions, jockeys, trainers, and other details might give you extra leverage to place your bet rather than picking one randomly.
You might want to find out the horses’ workouts as well to determine how their form is before The Derby.
It keeps track of the horses’ training at varied distances, surfaces, and other factors. All these important pre-game statistics need to get reviewed before making your bets at any horse racing bookmaker.
Racing Form & Past Performances
Gain detailed statistics of specific horses including the last few races they competed with the results. It’s good to also find out their result in the previous Classics or their team’s involvement in the past Derby.
Take a note if a horse has a solid track record in certain races and how near those races are to The Derby. Take this information into consideration while placing your wagers.
Finding out more information about the jockeys and the trainers is what separates successful bettors from the more casual ones.
The Past Derby Racing Stats
Results and statistics from the past Derby can give you pivotal hints as well. Notice that there are certain patterns that emerge when you are looking at the stats. Consider this as a weighing factor before you finalize your pick.
For instance, 9 of 10 Derby-winning horses had adjusted Racing Post Rating (RPR) of at least 128 and had achieved their best RPR last time. This information can make crucial development to your winning chance if you carefully combine it with the form analysis.
You can also consider the fact that 80% of Derby-winning horses are from the top three of the market. This might mean that bookmakers will shift the odds in their favor. Therefore, you need to carefully adjust your betting strategies to determine how you can win big.
It’s worth noting that 2000 Guineas is often considered as the key trial as its winners usually have triumphant moments at Newmarket leading up to The Derby. You might want to look at the detailed information of these two races beforehand.
Last but not least, take the trainers into consideration. Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, is the most successful trainer in the history of Derby and he’s still up and running. He has orchestrated eight Derby victories —six of them happening in the last ten years including Serpentine’s victory in the 2020 Derby.
No wonder the ante-post betting market has been dominated by O’Brien; that should at least be something you can consider.
Time to Place the Bet
Researching the horse stats and some other factors, including the past Derby stats, might be the key to success in horse racing betting.
However, you need to make sure that you use trusted horse racing bookmakers. Otherwise, those stats might not mean a thing, let alone winning. If you have ensured everything is in order, then it’s time to place your bet for the next Derby.