Epsom Derby & Oaks Betting Offers 2021
The Epsom Derby festival is one of the most prestigious flat race meetings in the world and over two days you can watch two of the five ‘classics’. In normal years Ladies day on Friday hosts the Oaks Stakes, with the Derby Stakes following the next day, on the aptly named Derby Day. Last year with the meeting rescheduled behind closed doors with both the Derby and Oaks run on the same day. For 2021 things are back to normal and the meeting will again be held over two days.
First run in the late 1700’s races don’t come with more history than these two. The Derby commands over three times the prize money of the Oaks with the Derby winner earning around £920,000 this year (total purse £1.625M).
Needless to say as prevalent races in the calendar the bookies go all out to attract punters. Using this page you can make sure you get the maximum possible value from your oaks and derby bets whether you are after a free bet, money back second, beaten by a length insurance and more. Further down you can find details of the festival schedule with information about he races and history.
Epsom Derby & Oaks Betting Offers for 2021
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Epsom Derby Festival Schedule 2020
Ladies Day – Friday 4th June 2021
|2:00||Woodcote Stakes||Class 2 Listed||6f 3y|
|2:35||Mile Handicap||Class 2 Handicap||1m 113y|
|3:10||Coronation Cup||Group 1||1m 4f 6y|
|3:45||Wealth & Investment Handicap||Class 2 Handicap||1m 2f 17y|
|4:30||Investec Oaks Stakes||Group 1||1m 4f 6y
|5:15||Surrey Stakes||Class 1 Listed||7f 3y|
|5:50||Investec Handicap||Handicap||7f 3y|
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
Derby Day – Saturday 5th June 2020
|2:00||Private Banking Handicap||Class 2 Handicap||1m 2f 17y|
|2:35||Princess Elizabeth Stakes||Group 3||1m 113y|
|3:10||Diomed Stakes||Group 3||1m 113y|
|3:45||Corporate Banking ‘Dash’||Class 2 Handicap||5f|
|4:30||Investec Derby Stakes||Group 1||1m 4f 6y
|5:15||Out Of The Ordinary Handicap||Class 2 Handicap||1m 4f 6y|
|5:50||Asset Management Handicap||Class 2 Handicap||6f 3y|
KEY: m – Miles, f – furlong(s), y – yards
About the Oaks Stakes
The Oaks Stakes, or the Epsom Oaks as it is sometimes known, is a group one flat race and the third of the five classic races. The race takes place on Ladies day of the Epsom Derby Festival in early June, the day before the Derby Stakes. The race is open to three-year-old fillies and makes up the second race of the fillies triple crown with the 1000 Guineas and the St Leger.
Despite this race not carrying the same level of prestige and prize money as the Derby it does in fact predate it. The race is named after the Oaks, a public park in Carshalton around 4 miles east of Epsom. The park was leased to the Earl of Derby in the late 1700s and during a party on the estate 1778 the race was devised. The following year, 1779, the Oaks Stakes was run for the first time. Horses ran from the hedges at the north of the park, through the park and then west ending up at the approximate site of the current Epsom Downs course. This race was similar in distance than the modern race but the modern course only contains a small portion of the original route. The inaugural race was won by Bridget who was owned by the Earl of Derby himself.
By the middle of the 1800s the contest was known as one of Britain’s leading flat races and one of the five classics. The modern race is a left handed run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards and currently sponsored by Investec. The prize pot is around £500,000 with over £283,550 for the winner. Several races including the 1000 Guineas serve as trail races for the Oaks. The Oaks has always been run at Epsom Downs apart from during the first and second world war then the race was run at Newmarket with the title ‘New Oaks Stakes’.
Sir Henry Cecil is regarded as one the greatest modern trainers for the Oaks, he trained 8 winners between 1985 and 2007 as well training 4 derby winners, 6 winners of the 1000 Guineas, 3 of 2000 Guineas and four winners of the St Leger. Of course we can’t mention the modern Oaks without mentioning Aidan O’Brien, he has now claimed 8 wins since 2008, including Love in 2020 who set a new record time for the race.
Oaks Stakes Records:
- Top Jockey: Frank Buckle 9 wins (1797-99, 1802-03, 1805, 1817-18, 1823)
- Top Trainer: Robert Robson 13 wins (1802, 1804-05, 1807-09, 1813, 1815-16, 1818, 1822-23, 1825)
- Top Owner: Susan Magnier 7 Wims – (1998, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019)
- Fastest Time: Love in 2020 (2m 34.06s)
- Biggest Margin: Sun Princess in 1983 (12 lengths)
- Odds: Longest – Jet Ski Lady (50/1 in 1991), Shortest – Pretty Polly (8/100 in 1904)
- Biggest Field: 26 runners in 1848
- 2020 Winner: Love in (a record) 2 minutes 34.06 seconds, ridden by Ryan Moore, trained by Aidan O’Brien and owned by Tabor / Magnier / Smith.
About the Derby Stakes
The Derby is by far the most prestigious of all the five flat races with prize money this year predicted to be over £1.625 million (the biggest ever) with over £920,000 to the winner. It is often referred to as the ‘Blue Riband’ of flat racing and commands global TV audiences second only to the Grand National and Cheltenham. The race is run over the same left handed course and distance as the Oaks (1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards – 2400 meters), the main difference is this race is open to both colts and fillies. The race also serves as the middle race of the triple crown with the 2000 Guineas and the St Leger. The 2000 Guineas acts as the major trail race for the Derby.
Following the success of the Oaks Stakes in 1779 it was decided to issue another race the following year named after the host of the race, the 12th Earl of Derby. The first race was held on the 4th May 1780 over one mile and was won by Diomed owned by the then stewed of the Jockey Club, Sir Charles Bunbury. In 1784 the race was lengthened to 1 ½ miles and in 1787 the Earl of Derby himself saw success with his horse, Sir Peter Teazle.
For most of its history the race was generally run midweek to coincide with the Epsom Fair, a day in which huge crowds would travel by rail from London to enjoy the Derby and other entertainment. This changed to the first Saturday in June in 1995 where it has remained since. As with the Oaks the race has always been run at Epsom downs except for during the two world wars where it was moved to Newmarket under the name ‘New Derby’.
The race has always been synonymous with high society and celebrity. Parliament even had an adjournment in order that politicians could attend the race and famous names such as Charles Dickens were known to visit regularly. Lester Piggott is the most successful jockey winning the race 7 times between 1954 and 1983. In 2014 Aiden O’Brien became the first to train three consecutive winners, he is also the leading trainer overall with 8 wins in the race, including Serpentine who won at 25/1 in 2020 leading the race from the front throughout and claiming a famous win by 6 lengths.
Derby Stakes Records:
- Top Jockey: Lester Piggott 9 win (1954, 1957, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976-77, 1983)
- Top Trainer: Aidan O’Brien 8 wins (2001, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020)
- Top Owner: Sue Maginer & Michael Tabor 9 wins (2001-02, 2011-14, 2017, 2019, 2020)
- Fastest Time: Workforce in 2010 (2m 31s)
- Biggest Margin: Shergar in 1981 (10 lengths)
- Odds: Longest – Jeddah (1898 at 100/1), Shortest – Ladas (1894 at 2/9)
- Biggest Field: 34 Runners in 1862
- 2020 Winner: Serpentine in 2 minutes 34 seconds, ridden by Emmet McNamara, trained by Aidan O’Brien and owned by Smith / Magnier / Tabor.
History Of Racing At Epsom
The Epsom Downs racecourse is one of the oldest courses that is still used today. Epsom is a town in Surrey south of London part of an area known as ‘the downs’, the name of the course comes from its location in the North Downs. The course holds an astonishing 120,000 spectators at capacity and is best known for hosting the Derby Stakes and Oaks Stakes. Colloquially the races are often termed the Epsom Derby and Epsom Oaks although this is not official.
The first officially recorded horse race to take place on the downs actually predates the Derby by a further 120 years, taking place in 1661. It is believed races were held here before this date as death records show a couple of riders that broke their neck during horse races in the early 1600s. The great diarist, Samuel Pepys, references racing at Epsom in 1663. In 1684 the course was issued with its own clerk and by 1730 there were at least two official race meetings each year.
In 1784 the course was extended from one mile to the current distance of just under a mile and a half. By the mid-1800s, aided by the popularity of the Derby race, the course rose to become one of the most famous in the world. The Epsom downs racecourse became the central attraction of the Epsom fair. By the 1850s this ten-day annual event that drew crowds from London and across the country aided by the new railways of the time.
Perhaps the most infamous event to occur at Epsom was the death of Emily Davison who threw herself in front of Anmer, the horse of King George V. The death of one of the leaders of the suffragette movement set in motion a chain of events that eventually lead to women getting the vote.
By the late 20th century the Epsom fair was no longer drawing the crowds of days gone by. In 1995 the decision was made to move the main race, the Derby, from midweek to the first Saturday in June to aid attendances. This worked and since Epsom has enjoyed further success culminating in a new stand and facilities in 2009.
The corona virus pandemic in 2020 forced Espom to be rescheduled to July condensed into a one day meeting. This was the first time the famous races have been run without any spectators.
Epsom Downs Racecourse
The history of the racecourse is a fascinating one, but the majority of punters will be far more interested to know what it’s like today. The modern course doesn’t differ a huge amount from how it was when the first race was run here in 1661, in the sense that it’s in pretty much the same location and involves horses running on grass. Yet away from the course itself things have changed markedly, not only with the development in technology seeing big screen TVs erected to show the racing but also with the way that the grandstands have developed and so on.
Even the facilities for the horses have developed beyond all recognition since the days that racing was introduced to the area. Epsom Downs is home to the country’s third largest training facility, which is used by 11 different trainers. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular place to train horses, of course, considering that the venue is home to the world famous Epsom Derby as well as the Oaks. It’s equally as popular for racegoers, with the owners seeing the need in 2009 to open the new Duchess’s Stand, which alone has a capacity of 11,000.
Let’s start by taking a look at the facilities at the venue, then. It boasts five main areas that you’ll want to spend time, though it’s worth noting that on non-Derby Festival race days all of the enclosures are open to everyone.
The Queen’s Stand
Given the fact that Epsom welcomes members of the Royal Family on a regular basis, it’s no major surprise that there’s a stand named in honour of the monarch. The link isn’t quite as prestigious as that between the Royals and Ascot, but it’s still there and the Queen’s Stand is the most prestigious of all of the enclosures at the racecourse.
Situated above the weighing room and directly in-line with the finishing post, the Queen’s Stand gives access to the Parade Ring and boasts its own lawn area from where you can watch the racing. Perhaps you’re looking for a spot that offers something more suitable for the occasion, in which case the Moët & Chandon Terrace will surely suffice.
The Duchess’s Stand
Better known to most simply as the Grandstand, this was opened in 2009 and can welcome 11,000 spectators through its doors. You’ll be able to wander into here if you have Queen’s Stand tickets during the Derby weekend, which is just as well as it’s how you get access to the bookmakers’ ring where you can place your bets.
The Lonsdale Enclosure
This is where the real action is on race day, allowing you to squeeze right up the the rails and feel as though you’re in the middle of a visceral experience when the horses race past. You’re allowed to take your own food and drink in here, so it doesn’t need to be an expensive day even if you’re planning on feeling like royalty.
The Upper Tattenham Enclosure
With views that stretch all the way down to Tattenham Corner, this enclosure offers some of the best sights in the racecourse. As with the Lonsdale, you can take your own drinks and food in.
The Family Enclosure On The Hill
The name tells you the most important information here. It’s a relatively new part of the racecourse and the hope is that it will encourage families to attend in an environment that is ready made for them. There are exclusive areas here to mean that you shouldn’t be overwhelmed by people who have over-indulged, including an area with picnic tables and even your own toilets.
The racecourse overall can welcome around 120,000 people for a race day, so it’s always going to be a busy venue when the most exciting races come around. That it’s so close to London means that it’s always popular with racegoers who can jump on the train easily enough.
Course Layout and Features
The Grade 1 course takes a horseshoe shape for its 1 mile, 4 furlong distance. It’s run left-handed and boasts some undulations that can make life difficult for an inexperienced horse. Tattenham Corner is the final bend before the home straight and is tight enough to mean that even the most experienced of jockeys have to be on their toes.
Races that are only run over the straight see horses travelling downhill up until the final furlong, at which point it raises up enough to mean that those that haven’t been planning for it can be taken by surprise. Given that it’s mostly downhill, horses can be lulled into a false sense of security ahead of the quick rise at the end.
Six and seven furlong races start around the corner and merge with the straight when there are about 4 furlongs to go. The left-turn into Tattenham Corner is sharp enough to discourage passing, meaning that riders want to get their steeds into position before taking it on.
The longest races run at Epsom Downs are those over a mile and a half, which boasts a tricky uphill climb to begin with before heading downhill after the Tattenham Corner turn. It’s a distance that tests all qualities of a racehorse over its running.
It’s for that reason that the more agile horses tend to best during races at Epsom. Long-striders will do well on the straight, but they can often struggle to cope with the sharp turns and the challenging camber on offer. It’s very much a venue for the best in the business to come to the fore.
Getting To Epsom Racecoure
If you’re thinking of travelling to Epsom for one of the meetings on offer then you’ve got numerous options available to you. Tattenham Corner Station is the closest for train users, based as it is about half a mile away. Epsom Downs Station is a little further afield, but those that enjoy a walk will still be able to cope.
Epsom Station is located in the heart of the market town, which is itself just shy of 14 miles away from London. You can get a train there from the nation’s capital and then enjoy a short car or taxi ride to the racecourse. When it’s Derby Festival time you’ll find that a shuttle bus service is in operation to transport people to the venue in time for the racing.
Those of you that prefer to drive yourself will be able to park on-site for a small fee. There aren’t limitless spaces, but you’d be unlucky if you failed to find one if you get there early enough. The Metrobus will take you from Epsom centre to the course if you want to park in the town and make your way back later, saving the need to find a space in the first place.
The obvious question that some of you may ask is why, exactly, Epsom was chosen as the location for a racecourse. As you might expect, there is no definitive answer. Instead it comes down to a few different factors, the most obvious of which is the fact that the area boasts plenty of luscious green countryside. The Epsom Downs naturally lent itself to horse racing, being a wide open space that was relatively flat.
The other big reason for Epsom’s growth and enduring popularity is the fact that the course is so close to London. Open space is a much sought after commodity in the nation’s capital, so having a racecourse in the middle of it, or even in the surrounding boroughs, was always likely to be a pipe dream. Epsom, however, boasted the large amount of space required for a racecourse and combined it with proximity to the centre of London to make it almost unrivaled.