Starting on July 3rd, the biggest race of the flat season headlines perhaps the greatest racing festival of the calendar year, the Epsom Derby.
What To Expect From The Derby Festival
The Epsom Derby Festival is usually run over two days but given the global situation at hand, the Festival will have just one day in 2020. That sets us up for a huge day of racing action, with both classics, the Epsom Oaks and Epsom Derby, raced almost within an hour of each other.
The Epsom Oaks is the biggest classic for the fillies, raced over 1m 4f, it has been won by the likes of Taghrooda, Minding and Enable in recent years. Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have dominated the contest in recent years, scooping up seven of the last eight renewals between them.
The Epsom Derby is the flagship race of the entire flat season and captures the attention of the entire nation, much like the Grand National does on the National Hunt side. Raced over the 1m 4f distance, it’s importance cannot be understated. Galileo, Sea The Stars, Camelot and Golden Horn are just a sample of recent winners, which tells you all you need to know about just what it takes to win an Epsom Derby.
Both races have a huge impact on not just this year, but years to come. Breeding is everything in flat racing and the Derby winner will be in line to become another potential star breeder. We’ll all be looking out for another Sea The Stars, both on track, and in a few year’s time in his progeny.
Epsom Derby Festival Races
1.50 Woodcote Stakes (Conditions Race) 6f (Racing TV)
2.25 Surrey Stakes (Listed Race) 7f (ITV, Racing TV)
3.00 Investec Handicap (Class 2 Handicap) 1m 2f (ITV, Racing TV)
3:40 Epsom Oaks (Group 1 Classic) 1m 4f (ITV, Racing TV)
4.15 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) 1m (ITV, Racing TV)
4:55 Epsom Derby (Group 1 Classic) 1m 4f (ITV, Racing TV)
5.35 Investec Zebra Handicap (Class 2 Handicap) 7f (ITV, Sky Racing TV)
Where to watch the Epsom Derby Festival
It’ll be a completely different feel to this year’s Derby Festival and that is due to the lack of a crowd, as the entire day will be held behind closed doors. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch, however, as there is a multitude of ways to get involved in the action!
The easiest way is on terrestrial television, with ITV showcasing six of the seven races. You can also follow the action on Racing TV, who will be broadcasting all seven races on their online/TV service.
Another simple way to watch the action is by streaming it through a bookmaker. Most bookmakers have the facility to stream the action, but you’ll either need to place a bet on the race of have money in your account to do so.
Each bookmaker has different T&Cs, so make sure to check so you don’t miss out on being able to catch a glimpse of the action. If you’re looking for a new bookmaker to make the most of the Epsom Derby, then look no further than our free bets page.
Epsom Derby Festival Betting Guide
Jockeys To Follow
In the past five seasons, its been hugely profitable to follow Silvestre De Sousa at Epsom. From 116 rides, he’s landed 29 winners, equating to a level stakes profit (£1) of £26.24! Franny Norton is also an Epsom specialist, amassing a level stakes profit of £15.43 from twelve winners.
In terms of strike-rate, Charlie Bishop makes his rides count, with 10 of his 29 rides resulting in winners and a level stakes profit of £11.88!
Trainers To Follow
Roger Varian is categorically the man to follow at Epsom. In the past five seasons, he’s amassed a level stakes profit of £17.37 thanks to a strike-rate of 33%! All his runners need to be taken very seriously given his prowess.
With no Epsom Dash, the shortest race of the card will be over six furlongs, with a few races over the seven-furlong distance. With just the one left-hand turn encountered before the straight, it’s of advantage to be drawn low, especially given the nature of the sloping course down the straight.
For both the Investec Handicap and Princess Elizabeth Stakes, raced over 1m 2f and the mile respectively, there is less of a draw bias thanks for a longer, sweeping, left-hand turn. There tends to be a bigger emphasis on stamina for these races, however, so proven form over the distance is always a positive.
For the classics raced over 1m 4f, it’s actually more of a detriment to be drawn low. Runners have to negotiate a right-hand turn early on in the contest before the sweeping left-hand bend, which can mean those on the inside are caught in a pocket and forced back through the field.