Epsom Derby 2024: When is the race, how to watch it on TV and the latest odds

Auguste Rodin won the Derby last year ahead of Aidan O’Brien – Reuters/Peter Cziborra

The Derby is the biggest race of the Flat season and the most important of the British Classics.

Officially, the race for three-year-old colts and fillies – although these are rarely entered – is held over one mile, four furlongs and ten meters at Epsom Downs, a particularly undulating course with a pronounced slope to the rails on the home straight.

The Derby is the third of the five classics of British racing. The others are the Oaks, which is for fillies only and takes place the day before at Epsom, the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas (both in Newmarket) and St Leger in Doncaster.

Britain’s richest Flat Horse Race has been held since 1780 and this year is the culmination of a two-day festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse and will attract around 130,000 spectators. The Derby has been held annually for 243 years, but was moved to Newmarket from 1915-18 and 1940-45.

This year’s race is worth £1.5 million, with the winner taking home £850,650 in prize money. View the latest odds here.

What date is the Epsom Derby?

This year’s race will take place on Saturday 1 June on the second day of the Betfred Derby Festival. The Oaks and Coronation Cup take place the day before.

When does the race begin?

This year the race returns to its usual start time of 4:30 PM. Last year the race was moved to earlier in the day to avoid a direct clash with the FA Cup final.

What TV channel is it on?

The race will be broadcast live on ITV1, with coverage also available on subscription service Racing TV. By law, the Derby is one of only two races allowed to be shown on free-to-air television in Britain. The other is the Grand National.

Will the King and Queen have horses in the race?

The King and Queen will not have a runner in the Derby this year, but could potentially have a horse in both the Coronation Cup and the Oaks, both held on Friday, May 3 – the day before the Derby.

There has never been a royal winner of the Derby. The closest was in 1953, when Aureole finished second just days after Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

Who is the most successful current trainer?

Aidan O’Brien is the most successful trainer in the Derby’s 243 years, winning nine times, with Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler of the World (2013), Australia (2014) , Wings of Eagles (2017), Anthony Van Dyck (2019), Serpentine (2020) and Auguste Rodin (2023).

O’Brien has plenty of chances for this year’s race, with five of the top 10 in the market being trained at his yard in Tipperary.

For full details of this year’s entries, see our runners and riders guide.

Which horse won last year?

Last year’s race was won by Auguste Rodin, trained by Aiden O’Brien and owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

There can never be repeat winners of the Derby as the race is only held for three-year-olds.

What are the latest odds?

The top ten horse on the market.

  • City of Troy 11/4

  • Arab crown 3/1

  • Ambient friendly 7/1

  • Los Angeles 8/1

  • Diego Velázquez 14/1

  • Ancient wisdom 16/1

  • Capulet 16/1

  • Dancing Twins 25/1

  • Henry Longfellow 28/1

  • Bellum Justum 28/1

Updated May 16 – odds courtesy of Bet365

Want to bet on the race? Find the best Epsom Derby betting offers

Ambient friendly storms past Illinois and prepares for the Derby

A 91-year-old multi-millionaire who treated himself to nine horses on his 90th birthday might have finally hit the jackpot after a lifetime of racehorse ownership.

After an emphatic victory at the William Hill Trial at Lingfield, Ambiente Friendly are now 8-1 short of the Derby.

Bill Gredley, an East Anglian property developer and long-time owner, and his son Tim, who is part of the selection to jump for Great Britain at the Paris Olympics, own an Oaks and St Leger with User Friendly in 1992 won, but the Derby has eluded the family as has trainer James Fanshawe, who despite winning 22 Group Ones and two Champion Hurdles in his career has never won a domestic classic.

However, they will all head to Epsom with a very real Derby chance after Ambiente Friendly ran an impressive four-and-a-half length winner over Aidan O’Brien’s favorite Illinois.

Ambient friendlyAmbient friendly

Ambiente Friendly had a great day in the sun at Lingfield Park – PA/Steve Patson

Definitive winners of the Classic trial this season have been few and far between and when a colt – City of Troy, who defeated two at home in the Guineas – is ante-post favorite for the Derby thanks to the power of Auguste Rodin who curtain rose after the Guineas to win it last year, you know we’re struggling.

Godolphin’s Arabian Crown has the Sandown Trial safely under his belt, but Gredley’s Gleneagles colt, who cost £80,000 at last year’s Breeze-up sales, put himself firmly in the mix when he and jockey Callum Shepherd headed straight away from Ballydoyle’s Illinois.

Fanshawe’s only other Derby runner was in his second year as trainer when he ran Environment Friend, also for the Gredleys, in the 1991 race. He finished last but came out to win the Eclipse next time.

Fanshawe, 62, who was at Ascot, remembers how he came across Ambiente Friendly, saying: “On his 90th birthday, Bill sat by the ring at the sale and bought nine horses. Freddie Tylicki [the paralysed former jockey turned bloodstock agent] chose this one.

“Bill hasn’t had horses with me for 28 years, but for nostalgic reasons he sent me four. Three of them, including Ambiente Friendly, have proven very good and we have sold one.”

Despite gaining nearly three furlongs on the trip, Fanshawe made the brave decision to take the bonnet off Ambiente Friendly, who pulled hard on his first start of the season at Newmarket, because he was so familiar at home.

“That was brilliant,” Fanshawe added. “I wasn’t sure if he would stay because he was a bit free in his races, but Bill and Tim were keen to give it a try and that was a real test. Even though he’s from Gleneagles [a miler], the dam got stuck in the mud for a mile. I’m glad the bookmakers were impressed enough to put him at 8-1 for the Derby. It’s very exciting: we won an Irish St Leger, but not a domestic classic.

Time will tell if an Epsom winner emerges from the William Hill Oaks Trial – a length and three quarters separated the first four at home. But Ralph Beckett’s You Got To Me went out to make it a test of endurance, opening an eight-length lead at half-way and although the cavalry, including her stablemate Treasure, owned by the King and Queen, overtook at the finish. hung on to win by half a length.

It was a challenge to know whether You Got To Me, a filly by Nathaniel, was tiring or idling up front – it was her first start of the season – but it was Aidan O’Brien’s runner-up Rubies Are Red who in the eye caught the eye. the home straight had to make up 10 lengths in the last quarter mile. Even though Rubies Are Red traded at a lower price (10-1) for the Oaks, it is not a given that she will reverse form as this was her second start of the season and You Got To Me’s first.

Beckett, who has now won the trial four times, said: “I think Epsom will be a good fit for her,” said Beckett, who indicated Treasure will go to Royal Ascot.

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