Epsom Derby Betting

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The Epsom Derby is one of Great Britain`s most beloved events in thoroughbred racing. First run in 1780 at Epsom Downs, the Derby is to flat racing what the Grand National is to jumps - an unrivaled classic that challenges both horse and rider. It also holds a position as the second leg of the English Triple crown, following the 2,000 Guineas and preceding the St. Leger.

The town of Epsom has been famous for its natural mineral water since 1618. Racing on the Downs began in 1661, continuing every summer until Edward Smith Stanley, the 12th Earl of Derby, and Sir Charles Bunbury declared the inaugural race for colts and fillies that would become Epsom Derby. It began as a straight line covering a mile, but in 1784 the Tattenham Corner was added and the course took on its unique mile-and-a-half profile.

The great race starts almost opposite the Grandstands and runs clockwise on a C-shaped course. The first seven furlongs climb a 110-foot rise to the top of a hill following a segment that looks like a gently inverted letter S. Here, the ground flattens out and the horses begin to find their stride. A long left turn follows, taking the field through 180 degrees as they pass around Tattenham Corner.

The ground drops away quite dramatically during this long turn, forcing an unnatural gallop downhill. On race day, the roar from the crowd on the infield can present an additional obstacle, too. Then, after continuing downward to the final quarter of a furlong, the ground rises once again toward the finish line directly in front of the Grandstands and the completion of the.

Over the 230-year history of the Epsom Derby, many great names have emerged. Among the greatest are the only nine-time Derby champion, jockey Lester Piggot; the amazing triple-crown winning horse, Nijinsky (1970); and the greatest trainer of thoroughbreds ever, Vincent O`Brien, who was responsible for six Derby victories between 1962 and 1982.

Today, the historic Derby sports the name of a sponsor, Investec, and its card of activities is formally known as the Investec Derby Festival. The main event is preceded by two races on Investec Ladies Day - the Investec Coronation Cup and the Investec Oaks. The latter is arguably the top race for fillies in Europe.

The famous Group 1 race, on the other hand, is open to three-year-old thoroughbreds, both colts and fillies. It has become Britain`s richest horse race, worth some 1,250,000 in prize money, with the reward that goes to the winner topping 700,000 in recent years.

The run takes place at Epsom Downs on the first Saturday of June each year, drawing a crowd as large as 125,000 spectators to a setting that is quite unique. As a pubic area, the center of the course offers free admission, which accounts for the funfair atmosphere and huge numbers of people present for the race. One amusing tradition on Derby day is the hiring of double decker buses to park trackside as viewing stands. They line rails along the home straight all the way from Tattenham Corner to the Grandstands, providing a panorama of the course.

The party-like environment extends to all social classes, as the rich and famous also flock to Epsom Downs to see and be seen. Those seated in the Queens Stand are especially well dressed, as morning suit is compulsory, rather like the Royal Ascot.

On Investec Ladies Day, a fashion competition called the "Style on the Downs" is conducted. It is an opportunity to showcase summer outfits and fine millinery. The top-ten best-dressed are narrowed down to the final three, and then the winner is crowned on live television. Courtesy of Tourism Ireland, the most recent top prize was a luxury trip for two people to the Emerald Isle.

For those who cannot make it to the Investec (Epsom) Derby in person, the BBC`s televised broadcast makes all of the festivities available. It has been estimated that some seven million English viewers tune in and the race reaches more than a billion homes worldwide.

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