AND THEY’RE OFF!
The Epsom Derby 2021 will be run at 4.30pm on Saturday 5th June at Epsom Downs Racecourse.
Accumulator: A bet involving two or more selections in different races – winnings from one are placed on the next.
Each-way: A bet in two equal parts – one backing a horse to win and the other backing it to finish in the first three.
Evens: Betting odds where your stake exactly equals your winnings – £5 at evens wins a further £5.
Odds on: Odds where the winnings are less than the stake – thus a winning £2 bet at 2-1 on wins you £1.
On the nose: Betting on a horse to win only (not to place).
Placed: When a horse finishes in the first three.
Remember to bet responsibly, folks!
An aristocratic coin toss in 1779 between Lord Stanley, the 12th Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury decided on the official name for Epsom’s annual equestrian race. The Epsom Bunbury? Not quite the same ring, is it?
…the first ever Derby winner; a colt owned by Sir Charles Bunbury. Artist Judy Boyt’s ‘Evocation of Speed’ – the bronze sculpture in Epsom Market Place – depicts the 1780 winner Diomed racing against the new Millenium winner, Gallileo.
1661 saw the first recorded race meeting to be held on the Downs and the tradition continued until the summer of 1780 when one of today’s greatest sporting spectacles was first ever established. This year is the 242nd race, to date.
FIRST SATURDAY IN JUNE
1995 saw The Epsom Derby move from its traditional Wednesday slot to Saturday afternoons.
GREATEST FLAT RACE IN THE WORLD
The course is one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards and is said to roughly resemble the shape of a horseshoe.
HATS ON, HATS OFF
Local milliner, Jessica Rea, who trained under Rose Cory, the royal milliner to the late Queen Mother says:
“Hats are synonymous with the races. And this year, there’s no holding back, understandably! I feel like people just want to express themselves more than ever and wearing a hat enables you to do just that.”
With a studio based in Ewell village, Jessica now also offers personal styling and adds, “My best advice is to wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Going to the races is a long day; finding the right balance of comfort and style is key.”
Fedora: An iconic men’s felt hat with pinched sides and a lengthways crease along the crown.
Top hat: Accompanies morning dress worn in The Queen’s Stand enclosure on Derby Day.
Trilby: A shortened, angular fedora.
Boater: Usually crafted from stiff sisal straw and finished with a smart ribbon.
Fascinator: A headband or a comb and is adorned with anything from flowers, feathers and pearls to more structural designs.
Pillbox: Named after the small cylindrical or hexagonal cases that pills used to be sold in.
The Prince’s Stand is the smallest and oldest built in 1879, the Queens Stand (built in 1995) sits in the middle while the Duchess stand was opened officially by the Duchess of Cornwall in 2009.
The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 by a group of gentlemen brought together by a shared passion for horseracing. They were some of the most influential people in the country. Initially meeting in London at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall and also in St. James’ Street and Hyde Park, the Club soon relocated to Newmarket. In 1994, Jockey Club Racecourses purchased Epsom Downs, Kempton and Sandown and is now headquartered in central London; the same offices as the British horseracing authorities.
KNOW YOUR FIZZ, POP, BANG
A day at the races, win or lose, will usually involve a tipple or twelve!
Neil Phillip’s, The Wine Tipster recommends, “For prosecco; try Ruggeri, La Gioiosa and Aldi’s Organic Prosecco. Franciacorta from Italy can be top class, but let’s not forget about Cava from Spain. My top picks would be Freixenet, Codorniu and Vilarnau. From the New World look at Lindauer Special Reserve from New Zealand and A By Arras – a very good sparkling wine from Tasmania made using the same grapes and method as Champagne.”
Otherwise known as The Oaks; it takes place on 4th June, the day before The Derby. AKA, the day where Epsom is all hats and heels and don’t even try to find blister plasters in Boots!
MYSTICAL WISHING WELL
Since the mid-19th century the name of a contender has been found scrawled in chalk on a wishing well outside the formerly Amato Inn (now The Grumpy Mole) before the iconic race.
NO PUBLIC ACCESS
Simon Durrant, General Manager of Epsom Downs Racecourse, says: “We are greatly looking forward to the Cazoo Derby Festival, in particular, welcoming back a limited number of spectators to enjoy the event. Sadly, while the ongoing restrictions on mass gatherings are in place, it means the Downs won’t be open to the public.”
ODDS ON THE FAVOURITE?
Heading up this year’s hot list, is current favourite, Irish-trained, High Definition. However, horse racing is one of the most unpredictable sports and it’s worth remembering that even horses have off days.
Today’s prize pot of £1.125 million comes a long way from the first win of £1,065 15s
HRH the Queen is a regular guest at The Derby – she’s only ever missed it twice. An avid race owner herself, her horses have come second, third and fifth so far and jockeys proudly wear Her Majesty’s regal colours of purple and scarlet.
Unlike last year’s race, which took place behind closed doors, this year, the racecourse is welcoming up to 4,000 spectators.
Handbags at dawn, Ladies. And hats, too. And it’s, ermm actually in the afternoon – but hey, let’s not get pedantic.
In the past, famous presenters of this prestigious prize on Ladies Day to the best dressed have included Frankie Bridge and Vogue Williams.
Don’t get kicked out, guys! Dressing correctly is essential.
For the royal enclosure, here’s the drill: if not opting to wear national dress or military attire, you’ll need morning dress worn with a waistcoat, shirt and tie (no cravats or bowties), black shoes (ideally Oxfords and absolutely no loafers!) Finally, all gentlemen must wear (not carry) a top hat while out and about in the Royal Enclosure.
Otherwise, for a dressed-day-out in your finest, keep things sharp with subtle checks, double-breasted jackets are flattering as they emphasise the width of the shoulders while nipping in the waist, keep the shoes black (brown is too scruffy) and deploy a full Windsor tie knot.
gold cufflinks and easy on the aftershave, OK?
At the beginning of the race the starter will give the horses instructions before the race gets underway. At this point the horses are said to be ‘Under Orders’.
Sir Visto was Lord Rosebery’s horse. He’s the only person to have owned a Derby winner while Prime Minister. Also worth noting that as a youngster, he was expelled from Oxford -for buying a horse, whom he entered The Derby – but it came last.
Suffragette campaigner, Emily Davison will always be synonymous with The Epsom Derby as she was tragically killed by Amner, the King’s horse after running across the track during the race in 1913.
Two horses won back in 1884, the only ever dead heat at The Derby when horses Harvester and St. Gatien came in neck and neck.
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus won The Derby, in 1964.
Z, X AND U
…are the only three letters of the alphabet with which a Derby winners name has not begun with. The most popular winning initial to date is the letter S and a win by Quest for Fame in 1990 is the only win for that initial.
Words by Fatima Truscott