The Epsom Derby is Britain’s richest horse race. It is a Group 1 race for three-year-old colts and fillies over 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards, held at Epsom Downs in Surrey in early June.

  • Race Type: Group 1, Set weights, 3YO colts and fillies
  • Distance: 1 mile 4 furlongs 10 yards (2423 metres)
  • Track: Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, England
  • Date: Saturday, 3 June 2023 (10:30 pm Saturday AEST)

The first Derby was held in 1780 over 1 mile and was won by a colt called Diomed. The distance was increased to a mile and a half in 1784. It has been held at Epsom for all years except the world war years of 1915 to 1918 and 1940 to 1945 when it was run at Newmarket. This makes it the oldest continually run sporting event in the world.

More than 140 races around the world have adopted the word “Derby” but the Epsom Derby is the original. It is the middle leg of the UK Triple Crown, between the 2,000 Guineas and the St Leger, although it is rare for a horse to attempt all three. The Epsom Derby is held on a Saturday following the running of The Oaks on the Friday. Prizemoney for 2016 was £1.325 million.

In 2022 for the first time in its 242 year history the race was ran in honour of an individual, Lester Piggott, who passed away at the age of 86 the week before.

In 2023 it was moved from the normal UK start time of 4.30 pm to 1.30 pm due to it clashing with the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Manchester City at Wembley.

Previous winners of the Epsom Derby:

Only six fillies have ever won the Epsom Derby and the most recent was Fifinella in 1916. Aidan O’Brien has trained the winner 8 times. Three trainers have each had 7 winners in the race with Robert Robson between 1793 and 1823, John Porter between 1868 and 1899 and Fred Darling between 1922 and 1941. Lester Piggott has been the most successful jockey winning 9 times between 1954 and 1983. Frankie Dettori rode his first winner in 2007 at his 15th attempt.

Two owners have each had 5 winners – the 3rd Earl of Egremont between 1782 and 1826 and HH Aga Khan III between 1930 and 1952. The first female jockey to ride in the race was Alex Greaves in 1996 who finished last in the field of 20. Urban Sea was the dam of 2001 winner Galileo and 2009 winner Sea The Stars. The greatest winning margin was the 10 length win of Shergar in 1981. Two years later he was kidnapped and murdered by the IRA.
Year Winner Second Third
2023 Auguste Rodin King Of Steel White Birch
2022 Desert Crown Hoo Ya Mal Westover
2021 Adayar Mojo Star Hurricane Lane
2020 Serpentine Khalifa Sat Amhran Na Bhfiann
2019 Anthony Van Dyck Madhmoon Japan
2018 Masar Dee Ex Bee Roaring Lion
2017 Wings Of Eagles Cliffs Of Moher Cracksman
2016 Harzand US Army Ranger Idaho
2015 Golden Horn Jack Hobbs Storm The Stars
2014 Australia Kingston Hill Romsdal
2013 Ruler Of the World Libertarian Galileo Rock
2012 Camelot Main Sequence Astrology (IRE)
2011 Pour Moi (IRE) Treasure Beach Carlton House (USA)
2010 Workforce At First Sight (IRE) Rewilding
2009 Sea The Stars Fame And Glory Masterofthehorse (IRE)
2008 New Approach Tartan Bearer Casual Conquest (IRE)
2007 Authorized (IRE) Eagle Mountain Aqaleem
2006 Sir Percy Dragon Dancer Dylan Thomas (IRE)
2005 Motivator Walk In The Park Dubawi (IRE)
2004 North Light (IRE) Rule Of Law (USA) Let The Lion Roar
2003 Kris Kin (USA) The Great Gatsby Alamshar (IRE)
2002 High Chaparral Hawk Wing (USA) Moon Ballad (IRE)
2001 Galileo (IRE) Golan (IRE) Tobougg (IRE)
2000 Sinndar (IRE) Sakhee (USA) Beat Hollow

From the archives:

Epsom Derby Preview & Tips 2016

Track: Soft Weather: Showers

There are 18 runners in the Epsom Derby and the betting is fairly open. The early favourite is the lightly-raced Wings Of Desire who won the Dante Stakes at York. He is trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori who combined to win the race last year with Golden Horn. Second favourite is US Army Ranger who is one of 5 runners for Aidan O’Brien and won the Chester Vase. Third favourite is Cloth Of Stars who won the Group Two Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud last outing. He is trained in France and is by 2009 Derby winner Sea The Stars.

Ulysses is beautifully bred and won a maiden at Newbury by 8 lengths but is really stepping up in class. Deauville was 2nd in the Dante Stakes. Port Douglas meets his stablemate better at the weights for 2nd in the Chester Vase. Moonlight Magic was tenacious when winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown last month. Harzand has won his last 2 starts and will be suited by the softer going. All other runners are currently 16 to 1 or longer.

Jo’s Tips
14 Ulysses
16 Wings Of Desire
11 Port Douglas
10 Moonlight Magic