Epsom Derby 2024: When is today’s race, how to watch it on TV and what the odds are

City Of Troy – favorites for this afternoon’s Derby at Epsom – PA Wire/David Davies

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. Check out the latest odds here and read Marcus Armytage on Roger Teal, the trainer looking to disrupt some of the richest yards in the sport.

We have a separate guide for the confirmed list of runners and riders.

What date is the Epsom Derby?

This year’s race takes place today, Saturday June 1, on the second day of the Betfred Derby Festival. Today The Oaks and the Coronation Cup are held.

The Epsom Derby is the richest race on the British racing calendar, capable of etching names into racing history and providing significant financial rewards in the form of prize money and future stud value.

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 of which are held today.

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?

Updated May 30 – odds courtesy of Bet365

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

The minnow takes on the racing giants at Epsom

In the modern era, when the big trainers have more than 250 horses, small yards with fewer than 50 horses winning the Derby are a rarity; in the past half century, perhaps only Peter Chapple-Hyam has achieved this twice.

But today Roger Teal, who trains 45 horses at Lambourn, will play David against the training giant Goliaths when he saddles Dancing Gemini in the Epsom Classic. Aidan O’Brien probably left for this Derby with so many entries.

However, this is not a hopeless hope for windmills. The colt, who gave Teal butterflies before making his debut a year ago, has perhaps the best three-year-old form of any horse in the race as he finished second in the Group 1 French 2,000 Guineas on his last start. .

Teal, who turned 57 this week and shares a birthday with Dancing Gemini’s owner-breeder David Fish, has always punched above his weight; Tip Two Win was second in a 2,000 Guineas and his sprinter Oxted, still in the Garden, has won the Group One July Cup and King’s Stand Stakes.

“I don’t know if I feel out of place looking at the names (of the other coaches) on the list, but you might start to doubt yourself and ask yourself if you should be there,” he says. ‘But I said to my wife Sue, ‘Can we win the Derby?’ And she replied, ‘Why not?’ Everyone wants to train a horse like that, but you don’t often come across them in a stable of our size.”

After finishing second in a classic over a distance of over a mile, people wonder if Dancing Gemini shows too much speed to actually reach a mile and a half, but as Teal points out, his sire Camelot won a Guineas and a Derby and was only just defeated. a St Leger and no lack of endurance on her mother’s side.

“A Derby winner has to have a turn on the foot, it’s not won by plodders,” he says. “He behaves well on soft ground, but if it continues to rain, his endurance may be tested a little more. If he stays relaxed, like normal, I think he will understand.”

When he worked as an amateur rider for Philip Mitchell, who was based at Epsom’s Downs House, a quarter of a mile from the start of the Derby, he saw many horses pass by who had been revved up by the opportunity.

“Two furlongs after the start we would lean over the rails, watch them go by and then run in to watch the rest of the race on television at home,” he recalls.

Ironically, having raced in the amateur derby there, he has more experience of riding the course than Dancing Gemini’s jockey Dylan Browne Monagle, one of the rising stars of Irish racing, although Teal doesn’t see it as a problem. “He’s very talented and he’s very confident, which I like,” he says.

Having started training in 2007, the last four of which were at Windsor House, one of Lambourn’s luckiest stables if you believe in that sort of thing, the man who learned to ride as a Lone Ranger on his Shetland pony is happy that he did that. everything he can in preparing Dancing Gemini. This meant, among other things, that he was allowed to take a lap around the course last week.

His biggest worry would be his colt getting knocked over by one of the inexperienced horses who, despite the openness of the race, probably shouldn’t be there. But winning? He doesn’t even dare to think about winning.

“I’m going to worry about that when it happens,” he says. But it’s a reasonable assumption that if he does, there will be at least two other dancing Geminis besides the horse.

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