Betting on the Epsom Derby

Because it is one of the most popular and well advertised horse races in Britain, it’s no surprise that the Epsom Derby attracts millions of betters each year from around the world. A lot of these punters don’t ever bet on other races and can increase the market with ‘dead money’, which serves to increase the prize pot for serious betters. The best option is to follow some simple guidelines.

Tip 1- Back a colt. The last filly to win the Epsom Derby was in 1916, so it’s clear that it’s a safer bet to place your money on a colt if you want to win something, even if the filly you’re backing has won all her races. Fillies don’t always have the high odds either- such as Cape Verdi in 1988, who was pegged as a favourite and lost.

Tip 2- Watch the short odds horses. With a few exceptions, the short odds horses generally are the better performers at the Derby. In the last 7 years there hasn’t been a winner at the Epsom Derby that has been priced over 7:1.

Tip 3- Back Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh. These two jockeys have 6 wins at the Epsom Derby since 1999 and are top flat racers. Plus, you should look out for partnerships between Sir Michael Stoute and Auden O’Brien- two top trainers have set the standard for Epsom in the past few years.

Tip 4- Follow the trial races. A lot of races before the classic show you which horses will perform well. Ones to watch are the Chester Dee Stakes, The Lingfield Derby Trial and the York Dante Stakes. Whilst some do pay attention to the 2,000 guineas at Newmarket, this course is nothing like the Epsom downs and is run over a different length and track style- meaning it gives little indication of how a horse will perform at Epsom.

Tip 5- Back a specialist. Look at the statistics for the runners who will be at the Epsom Derby as it needs a combination of stamina and experience which horses that specialise in sprints or long distance might not have. Look at horses who have achieved glory

at distances over a mile and a half before betting.

Racecourse guide

Racecourse guide

The Epsom downs is arguably one of the toughest flat tracks in British horse racing, featuring uneven ground that tests the stamina of even the strongest thoroughbreds. Because of this it makes it an ideal training spot and currently 11 stables have residence there.

Unlike most race tracks in Britain, the left hand sided race course at Epsom downs is not run in a traditional circuit. The races are run over set distances on the horse shoe shaped track, and the maximum is an impressive 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards. Those running in the classics race have a tough start on an uphill slope before veering downhill after Tattenham corner. With the final part of the race another uphill run, this race is a stern test of the horse’s endurance.

One of the major features of this race track is its 5 furlong sprint track. This track is directly in front of the grandstand and is downhill throughout- meaning that, with horses topping up to 45 miles an hour, it is one of the fastest sprint tracks in international flat racing.

Any of the 6 furlong races start on an extension of the racecourse before branching into Tattenham corner and onto the final uphill run.

Similar to this, 7 furlong races follow the same pattern, only starting on a different extension of the track before they merge into Tattenham corner and finish up on the grandstands for the strong uphill finale of the track.

When betting on the Epsom derby, noting the horses starting position can be crucial. Lower numbers have a better chance on the long distance runs from 7 furlongs to a mile, whilst the higher numbers do better on the 5 and 6 furlong runs. This means you have to really pay careful attention when making your bet to be sure your horse will be a winner.

The course is closed throughout the winter and does not have a parallel national hunting track like most race courses in Britain. Whilst it only ever hosts one major festival, The Derby Festival, during winter it is used solely for training purposes.

How to get to Epsom

Following the B290 Epsom Downs Road you can get to the Derby in just under a few minutes due to its closeness to the town centre, or you can come off the M25 at Junction 9. Either way, during race season there are plenty of AA signs giving directions down all the major routes.

Coming by rail, the Epsom station is connected to London Waterloo and London Victoria- so your best bet is to make your way towards those two to get there easily. Then, you can either get a taxi or a bus to the race course which takes about 10 minutes depending on traffic.

A free shuttle bus does run from Epsom station during race season, so that is preferable to a taxi. Similarly, if you wish to walk from the station it is around a mile. Or, if you get a connection to Tattenham Corner station you will only be 1/2 a miles walk from the race track.

If you’re coming by plane, the nearest airports are Heathrow, which is around 27 miles from the course, and Gatwick which is only 18 miles.

Epsom Derby

Even though it’s a long way from the 2011 Epson Derby there is already a potential winner in our midst in the form of Frankel- 2 years old and already a favourite. After winning his first three starts as a juvenile he’s on track to give owner Henry Cecil another top classic horse if his success continues into the winter.

Also following an impressive win at the Racing Post trophy, Casamento has staked his claim for next June. During the winter he’ll enter the Godolphin Stable and be aiming towards a win at the Epson Classic. He looks like he’ll be some value in the ante-post prices in the Epsom Derby odds and Dubai Prince from the Dermot Weld looks to be going the same way come 2011.

Under Pat Smullen he was part of the Group 3 Killavullen Stakes in October at Leopardstown and he is set to carry on with this fine season he’s been having. In regards to this book keepers have slashed his odds for the 2011 Derby and Smullen couldn’t be happier.

Epsom Derby betting is one of the busiest days of the year in book keeping circles and it is one of the oldest and most popular flat race in English racing, and indeed worldwide. It starts on the first Saturday of June each year and has been the third classic race in the season since 1661. The race tests the pedigree and stamina of the finest 3 year old colts from across Europe over a 1 mile and 4 furlongs flat race track and has a prize of over £1.25 million for the winner. Famous winners of past years have included Sea the Stars from 2009, Nashwan, Galileo, Nijinsky and Shergar and making their mark on racing history by scoring first place in this iconic race.

Odds on the Derby races tend to be very competitive and as such there are chances to win big with millions betting every year on the winners in sync with the competition of the racers themselves.