This is considered to be one of the world’s best races with a huge jackpot over well over 1 millions pounds. It is the most prestigious of the five classics and it has been known as the “Blue Riband” of the turf.
What to expect at The Derby
Guests usually arrive late in the morning to enjoy a glass of champagne before the racing starts. Gates open at 11am. The Derby race is the highlight of the day and this Group 1 flat horse race is open to three year old horses. It starts at 4.30pm and is the fifth race of the day, with two more that follow. Other races have borrowed the Derby name and it is used to describe a similar race in America. However, Epsom is the original Derby and it is watched worldwide on television.
HM The Queen normally attends, as do a host of Royal Family members. Celebrities will also be seen in the stands, including the likes of Katherine Jenkins and Jodie Kidd.
Event hotspots and hospitality
The picnic area is where you can watch the horses thundering down the finishing straight and there are also many restaurants that offer a sit down meal while overlooking the track. Chez Roux @ Blue Riband is popular, along with The Winning Post. One of the most exclusive and intimate general hospitality options is the Derby Suite. Meanwhile, Private Boxes are also available.
Did you know
The Derby, is a Group 1 flat horse race that is only open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It always runs on the first Saturday of June and the distance of the race is one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres).
Previous famous winning horses include Sea the Stars, Galileo and Camelot. Last year it was won by Harzand, which is owned by HH Aga Khan IV. Horses that have been jointly owned by Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor (as well as sometimes others) often appear as winners in this race. In the last six years they have enjoyed four wins.
The Derby has inspired many similar events around the world. European variations include the Derby Italiano, the Deutsches Derby, the Irish Derby and the Prix du Jockey Club, which is known as the “French Derby”. Several races in the United States include the “Derby” name, including the Kentucky Derby.
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Ladies should opt for glamorous and stylish racing attire with an extravagant hat or fascinator. The dress code varies according to each stand. For the Queen’s Stand on Derby Day gentlemen must wear morning dress. Other areas require smart wear.
Epsom Downs, Epsom KT18 5LQ, UK
Epsom Station is accessible from London Victoria Station and London Waterloo. There is also a shuttle bus to get you from the station. If driving, you should use the following postcode: KT18 5LQ. It is possible to arrive by helicopter with prior warning. View location.