The Investec Derby is one of the highlights of the Flat Racing Season and is also a major event in the UK sporting calendar. Millions will be watching around the world when the 2017 renewal takes place on Saturday June 3 but while this is the undoubted focal point of the day, the Epsom Derby forms just part of a packed, seven race card.
Here is your guide to all the top racing taking place on Derby Day.
Things get underway at 2.00pm on June 3 with the Investec Banking Stakes, a Handicap Race at one mile and two furlongs which was won in 2016 by the 25/1 shot Gawdawpalin, a rare victory in an otherwise modest career for Sylvester Kirk’s horse.
Following on at 2.35pm is the Princess Elizabeth Stakes which also provided a long priced winner last year as Epsom Icon crossed the line at 8/1. This is a group 3 race for fillies run over one mile and 114 yards.
The Investec Diomed Stakes picks up at 3.10pm at one mile and four furlongs. This group 3 was claimed by Andrew Balding’s Tullius in 2016. Following on is the Epsom Dash at 3.45pm. As the name suggests, this is a five-furlong sprint with early ante post prices showing Vibrant Chords and Duke of Firenze as Unibet’s joint favourites at 10/1.
The early entertainment is an interesting prelude to the big one: The Investec Derby goes off at 4.30pm with a strong field lining up for Epsom this year. At the head of the current market is Aidan O’Brien’s Cliffs of Moher at 4/1 with Unibet with Cracksman only marginally behind at 5/1.
The first Derby was held on the Downs way back in 1780 and this is, therefore,one of the oldest established sporting events in the world. We can usually expect great drama and 2016’s renewal was no exception with Dermot Weld’s Harzand taking the race and subsequently denying Frankie Dettori back to back wins. It was a fifth trophy for the Aga Khan who is clearly an owner to watch in subsequent renewals.
The Derby provides enough drama and excitement for a whole day’s racing but Epsom isn’t finished when the winner of this classic is decided. Two more races remain on Saturday’s card starting with the Investec out of the Ordinary Stakes, a handicap event at one mile and four furlongs.
Finally, a great day of flat racing comes to an end with the Investec Asset Management stakes, another sprint at six furlongs which was taken out twelve months ago by the 8/1 shot Blaine.
There’s more to racing at Epsom on June 3 than just the Derby although it’s certainly true to say that this classic and historic race is the true focal point. However, if you want to enjoy a full card then do start watching early and stay around after the main event for more, top class horse racing.