What makes the Epsom Derby so special?

Features | 24th May 2019

The Epsom Derby bills itself as “the greatest flat race in the world” and it never disappoints!

It is a race that is steeped in history, the first race was way back in 1780 and ever since it has been a race that every Flat jockey and trainer dreams of winning.

The Derby attracts one of the biggest crowds in the world for a single day sporting event; with a blend of Royalty and celebrities in among the live audience. 

Carnival atmosphere

The Epsom Derby is a very British event and it has a festival feel around the racecourse with an array of Ferris-wheels and buses lining the course. The racecourse is completely packed out on Derby day with the 2016 attendance going beyond 100,000 (150,000 over the two days).

The Epsom Derby is about more than just the racing. Expect to find a whole host of entertainment, from skydivers to celebrity DJ after parties and stunning displays of fashion, celebrated by the highly contested Style Awards.

“The greatest Flat race in the world”

The race itself is a mile and a half, with the contours of the track providing a thorough challenge for the racehorses who need to have that perfect mixture of speed, stamina and balance.

A huge degree of skill is required in the saddle to guide the horse through such a difficult test. For a jockey to win it is often seen as the crowning achievement of their careers. Giants of the sport like Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore have won the race multiple times and will be aiming for yet more glory come Saturday.

The one race everyone wants to win

No matter if you’re a trainer, jockey or owner this is the one you would want to win over everything else.

2016 Derby winning trainer Dermot Weld reflected on his win, “I suppose not winning the Derby has been nagging away at me for a bit. It was the one race I needed to win. Quite often, though, you don’t have a good enough horse to run in the race, let alone win it. You have to make every opportunity count when you do.”

It is truly an unforgettable experience to be involved in a Derby win. You can see what it means to Frankie Dettori back in 2015 as he’s welcomed back into the Winners’ Enclosure.

Famous faces will be there

British racing’s most famous and devoted fan Her Majesty The Queen is always at Epsom and will present the trophy to the winning connections of the Investec Derby.

In the last few years there have been a wide variety of celebrities including sports stars, TV stars, actors and actresses, singers, DJs, and reality TV stars. To name but a few, Denise Lewis, Michael Owen, Gregg James, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Vinnie Jones and Elizabeth Hurley have all been seen at the Epsom Derby in the recent past.