Classics three and four of the 2020 turf season come up at Epsom on Saturday. The Derby and Oaks can trace their roots back to the late eighteenth century but who of the modern crop of jockeys and trainers have had the best recent record at the quirky Epsom track?
Silvestre de Sousa
A favourite with the punters, this meeting has been good to de Sousa down the years. Two winners in the Woodcote in 2011 and 2017, a pair in the Surrey Stakes in 2017 and 2018 and the Princess Elizabeth in 2015 and 2016.
He boasts a strong overall record at this course. A 22% strike rate in his career at Epsom for a level stakes profit of £24.44, he has been better still in the last five years. Twenty-nine winners to his credit in the past half a decade at Epsom makes him top jockey at the track, streets clear of second-place Franny Norton who has twelve!
Of course Dettori is in the list, the man for the big occasion, he has ridden four Oaks winner and two Derby winners amongst the more than five hundred Group race victories in his storied career.
Add to that three wins in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes in the past decade as well as victories in the Woodcote and Surrey Stakes on this card in the same timeframe. This card is set up for the Italian and his army of loyal supporters.
A global phenomenon and still only fifty years of age, he has won thirty-six British classics, including the Derby and the Oaks seven times each. The Derby was first run in 1780 and sees O’Brien tied with three other trainers as the most successful trainer of all time.
He arrives mob-handed at Epsom again in 2020 and while that is a cause for concern for some racing fans, the yard have to run their horses somewhere and when they have so many good ones, there is a need to run more than one. Further success for O’Brien in 2020 would come as no surprise.
The leading trainer at the track over the last five years, the Derby meeting has seen some huge successes for the Middleham maestro. Britain’s winningest trainer has claimed three Woodcotes in the last nine years as well as a Surrey Stakes.
He is well represented in both of those contests on Derby Day 2020 so he looks to have solid claims of taking another Derby Day prize back to Yorkshire with him.