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Epsom Derby Festival Guide

The Epsom Derby is one of the most looked-forward-to meetings in European horse racing and one of the most valuable in the world. Two whole days of excellent racing are put on show with millions of pounds in prize money being awarded.

The Derby itself is an incredible Class 1 flat race that offers a first-place prize worth over half a million to the race winner, with the remaining placement positions still raking in five and six-figure sums.

This year’s Epsom Derby Festival is scheduled to take place on Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th of June 2021.

Epsom Oaks Guide – Day One

Day One of The Epsom Derby Festival is known as Ladies Day. Perched within the seven-race card of this magnificent day of racing is The Oaks, a flat race exclusively for fillies aged three years old. This race, plus The QIPCO 1000 Guineas run at Newmarket and the Ladbrokes St Leger in York make up the Fillies’ Triple Crown.

Here is the full racecard that is run annually for The Epsom Derby Festival’s Day One:

14:00 – Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes – Class 2 – 6 furlongs, 3 yards

14:35 – Investec Mile Handicap – Class 2 – 1 mile, 113 yards

15:10 – Investec Coronation Cup – Class 1 – 1 mile, 4 furlongs, 6 yards

15:45 – Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap – Class 2 – 1 mile, 2 furlongs, 17 yards

16:30 – Investec Oaks – Class 1 – 1 mile, 4 furlongs, 6 yards

17:15 – Investec Surrey Stakes – Class 1, Listed – 7 furlongs, 3 yards

17:50 – Investec Zebra Handicap – Class 2 – 7 furlongs, 3 yards

Epsom Derby Guide – Day Two

Day Two of The Epsom Derby Festival is better known simply as Derby Day. The main event of this festival and one of the most highly anticipated races in the horse racing world is The Derby Stakes. With a tantalising prize pot of £1,125,000, this is Britain’s richest and most prestigious race.

14:00 – Investec Private Banking Handicap – Class 2 – 1 mile, 2 furlongs, 17 yards

14:35 – Princess Elizabeth Stakes – Class 1 – 1 mile, 113 yards

15:10 – Investec Diomed Stakes – Class 1 – 1 mile, 113 yards

15:45 – Investec ‘Dash’ Handicap – Class 2 – 5 furlongs

16:30 – Investec Derby Stakes – Class 1 – 1 mile, 4 furlongs, 6 yards

17:15 – Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap – Class 2 – 1 mile, 4 furlongs, 6 yards

17:50 – Investec Asset Management Handicap – Class 2 – 6 furlongs, 3 yards

Epsom Downs Racecourse

The Epsom Downs Grade 1 Racecourse is delicately positioned within the chalk lands of the Epsom Downs in Surrey. Thanks to its location on the public parks of Epsom Downs, attendances for races at this glorious racecourse can peak at around 130,000 – that’s double the number of spectators that can fit into the grounds of Cheltenham Racecourse.

Unlike most racecourses which tend to be designed as a circuit, Epsom Downs is more of a “U” shape, which features an uphill climb before a sharp bend, known as Tattenham Corner, before heading back downhill for the final straight.

The third-largest racehorse training facility in Great Britain is found within the grounds of Epsom Downs, too, which is used by a number of the most experienced horse trainers in the sport.

Epsom Downs Enclosures

Epsom Downs Racecourse is made up of a number of enclosures, stands and designated viewing areas that allow for many different ways to experience the races to suit a variety of budgets.

The Moet & Chandon Terrace

If Champagne is your tipple of choice, this exquisite terrace could be the ideal Epsom Racecourse vantage point for you. The Moet & Chandon Terrace features a live DJ providing a soundtrack to your racing experience, as well as some of the best views of the racecourse.

Queen’s Stand

If it’s fit for the Queen herself, you know you’re in for a royal treat in the Queen’s Stand. Epsom’s premier, most luxurious viewing enclosure is always sure to deliver an unrivalled race day experience.


Providing a more relaxed atmosphere, the Grandstand provides fantastic views of the parade ring as well as the course itself. The Grandstand is also the place to be to enter The Style Awards on Ladies Day.

Don’t expect the relaxed atmosphere to remain calm during the races, though.

Great British Picnic

For a little space to yourselves while you enjoy the races, enjoy a Great British picnic along the Tattenham Straight with great food, Champagne, and front row seats to witness the competitors making their way down the final straight.

Lonsdale Enclosure

Get close to the action adjacent to the Grandstand in the Lonsdale Enclosure, where you can experience the races up close and personal in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Upper Tattenham

Positioned on the pivot of the Tattenham Corner, cheer on your favourite horses from a trackside view as they gallop down the final straight towards the Winning Post.

Hillside Enclosure

For the perfect family day out at Epsom Downs Racecourse, consider upgrading to the very affordable Hillside Enclosure for the greatest family fun and best entertainment facilities. 

The Hill

Located in the centre of the venue, The Hill is Epsom’s famous public access area that is engulfed by the electric atmosphere of the racecourse providing a riveting race day experience.

Open Top Buses & Coaches

For a unique twist on your Epsom race day experience, check out the selection of open-top buses and coaches for excellent views and brilliant fun at the 2021 Epsom Derby.

Epsom Downs Trainers

The horses that compete at meetings hosted by Epsom Downs are trained by some of the best, most experienced horse trainers in the world of horse racing. Here are the top 10 most successful horse trainers from the last 10 years of Epsom Downs races:

  1. Sir Mark Prescott – 9 winners – 35 runners – 25.7% win ratio
  2. Roger Varian – 18 winners – 72 runners – 25% win ratio
  3. John Quinn – 8 winners – 37 runners – 21.6% win ratio
  4. Hughie Morrison – 11 winners – 59 runners – 18.6% win ratio
  5. Aidan Patrick O’Brien – 16 winners – 100 runners – 16% win ratio
  6. Clive Cox – 5 winners – 35 runners – 14.3% win ratio
  7. Michael Bell – 6 winners – 43 runners – 14% win ratio
  8. George Baker – 9 winners – 65 runners – 13.8% win ratio
  9. John Best – 5 winners – 37 runners – 13.5% win ratio
  10. Sylvester Kirk – 9 winners – 68 runners – 13.2% win ratio

Epsom Downs Jockeys

The work of a jockey is often underappreciated given how easy the job may look. The truth is, the core strength and lifestyle dedication of racehorse jockeys are both admirable and inspiring.

Here are the top 10 most successful racehorse jockeys from the last 10 years of Epsom Downs races:

  1. Charles Bishop – 18 winners – 56 runners – 32.1% win ratio
  2. Silvestre De Sousa – 47 winners – 215 runners – 21.9% win ratio
  3. Franny Norton – 13 winners – 63 runners – 20.6% win ratio
  4. Edward Greatrex – 6 winners – 31 runners – 19.4% win ratio
  5. Luke Morris – 12 winners – 63 runners – 19% win ratio
  6. Dane O’Neill – 6 winners – 38 runners – 15.8% win ratio
  7. Martin Harley – 6 winners – 38 runners – 15.8% win ratio
  8. Adam Kirby – 9 winners – 66 runners – 13.6% win ratio
  9. Kieren Fallon – 9 winners – 69 runners – 13% win ratio
  10. Keiran O’Neill – 5 winners – 51 runners – 9.8% win ratio

Epsom Downs History

Our comprehensive guide of Epsom Downs will provide all the historic information you may wish to investigate, from past winners to world-changing political moments.

Epsom Downs Dates

As well as the five main horse racing events, Epsom Downs also hosts several musically themed racing evenings during the mid-summer months. “Summer Nights Rewind” is everything you need this summer, with the following events currently scheduled:

  • 01 July 2021 – 70’s Disco
  • 08 July 2021 – 80’s Throwback
  • 15 July 2021 – 90’s R&B
  • 29 July 2021 – 00’s Dance Anthems

This summer of fun is then capped off with a Bank Holiday Family Fun Day on Monday the 30th of August 2021.