Horse Racing: The History of the Epsom Derby

The illustrious list of Epsom Derby winners goes all the way back to 1780 when Diomed became its first winner.  

The race was held at the Oaks Estate and was named after its host, the 12th Earl of Derby.  Therein explain the origins of both the Derby and female equivalent, the Oaks.  The first four runnings of the Derby were over one mile, but this was amended to the current distance of 1½ miles in 1784.

Until 1994 the Derby was only staged on a Wednesday.  It is now staged on the first Saturday in June.  It remains the most valuable and most prestigious horserace.

Derby Facts

Three trainers have won the race seven times – Fred Darling being the last in 1941 – but Aidan O’Brien will be looking to equal or better that record before the end of the decade.  The Irish trainer has won the race six times.

Ante-post betting is available year round on the Derby and despite the racecourse being described as ‘quirky’ and a ‘specialist track’ favourites have an outstanding record in the race. Only once in the past 20 years (2017) has the winner gone off at an SP greater than 8/1.

Previous Epsom Derby Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer SP
2017 Wings Of Eagles Padraig Beggy Aidan O’Brien 40/1
2016 Harzand Pat Smullen John Oxx 13/2
2015 Golden Horn Frankie Dettori John Gosden 13/8 Fav
2014 Australia Joseph O’Brien Aidan O’Brien 11/8 Fav
2013 Ruler Of The World Ryan Moore Aidan O’Brien 7/1
2012 Camelot Joseph O’Brien Aidan O’Brien 8/13 Fav
2011 Pour Moi Mickael Barzalona Andre Fabre 4/1
2010 Workforce Ryan Moore Michael Stoute 6/1
2009 Sea The Stars Mick Kinane John Oxx 11/4 Fav
2008 New Approach Johnny Murtagh Jim Bolger 5/1
2007 Authorized Frankie Dettori Peter Chapple-Hyam 5/4 Fav
2006 Sir Percy Martin Dwyer Marcus Tregoning 6/1
2005 Motivator Johnny Murtagh Michael Bell 3/1 Fav
2004 North Light Kieron Fallon Sir Micheal Stoute 7/2 JF
2003 Kris Kin Kieron Fallon Sir Micheal Stoute 6/1
2002 High Chaparral Johnny Murtagh Aidan O’Brien 7/2
2001 Galileo Mick Kinane Aidan O’Brien 11/4 JF
2000 Sindaar Johnny Murtagh John Oxx 7/1

Derby Bet Offers

As with the Grand National online sportsbooks see the Epsom Derby as an excellent opportunity to recruit new customers, those that like a bet just once or twice a year.  In order to entice new custom bookmakers are not shy in promoting free bet offers and enhanced prices on race day.  

Meanwhile existing clients will find themselves being offered improved each-way terms and price-boosts.