The Epsom Derby 2023 Guide & Information

epsom derby

The Derby Festival at Epsom is one of the most prestigious events in the world of horse racing, drawing thousands of spectators from all over the globe each year. The festival is centred around two major races, the Derby Stakes and the Oaks Stakes, both of which have a long history in the world of horse racing. The festival has been held annually at Epsom Downs Racecourse since the 18th century, making it one of the oldest festivals in UK horse racing.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the Derby Festival, its history, significance, and all the exciting events that make it such a beloved and anticipated event.

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Where Is The Derby?

Epsom Downs Racecourse is an iconic venue that has been home to the Derby Festival since it was established back in 1780. Located in the picturesque town of Epsom in Surrey, the racecourse covers over 400 acres and features a unique and challenging track that has been the site of many legendary horse races over the years.

The course is situated on a hillside that overlooks the scenic countryside of Surrey. The track itself is a little over a mile and a half long and features undulating terrain that tests the skill and stamina of even the most seasoned jockeys and horses. There are several distinct sections of the course, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges.

One of the most notable features of Epsom Downs Racecourse is its iconic grandstand which dates back to the early 20th century. The grandstand offers stunning views of the racecourse and the surrounding countryside and provides a fitting backdrop for the thrilling events that take place during the Derby Festival.

Betting On The Epsom Derby

As with any major horse racing festival, many people attending the event, and those watching from home, will be looking to have a bet.

If your at The Derby, you have the option of placing bets with one of the many bookmakers that are scattered around the course. Betting with a track-side bookie is convenient as you can collect your winnings in cash immediately after the race. It also add to the excitement and experience of attending the races.

If you’re not at the races, you can place your bets on the Epsom Derby races with any reputable online bookmaker or pop into your local betting shop. We recommend placing your Derby bets online rather than in-shop as the prices are usually better and you can take advantage of the various racing offers that are sometimes available such as Extra Places, Best Odds Guaranteed and Money Back Specials.

Best Bookmakers For The Epsom Derby

There are dozens of reputable bookmakers that take bets on races at the Epsom Derby when it comes around. However, some are better than others whether it be offering more racing promotions, having better odds, providing live streams of the races or processing withdrawals quicker.

Here is a list of our recommended bookies for betting on the Epsom Derby.

Epsom Derby Betting Sites

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The Derby Stakes

The Derby Stakes, also known simply as “the Derby,” is the most prestigious and anticipated race of the Derby Festival at Epsom. First run in 1780, the Derby is one of the oldest and most celebrated horse races in the world and has been the site of many memorable moments and thrilling finishes over the years.

The race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies and covers a distance of one mile, four furlongs, and 6 yards. The course is known for its unique and challenging terrain, which includes a sharp turn into the home straight and a steep uphill climb to the finish line.

The Derby is widely regarded as one of the toughest races in the world of horse racing and requires a combination of speed and endurance to win. Many of the sport’s greatest jockeys and horses have competed in the Derby over the years.

In addition to its prestige and history, the Derby is also known for its glamorous and high-profile atmosphere. The race draws a crowd of tens of thousands of spectators each year, including celebrities and horse racing enthusiasts from around the world.

The Derby Stakes is the crown jewel of the Derby Festival at Epsom, and is a must-see event for anyone attending or watching from home.

The Oaks Stakes

The Oaks Stakes, also known as the Epsom Oaks, is the second major race of the Derby Festival at Epsom, and is often referred to as the fillies’ version of the Derby. First run in 1779, the Oaks is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse races in the world, and has a history of exciting finishes and legendary champions.

Like the Derby, the Oaks Stakes is open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies and covers a distance of one mile, four furlongs, and 6 yards.

Despite its slightly lower profile compared to the Derby, the Oaks Stakes remains an important and highly anticipated event in the world of horse racing.

Epsom Derby

The Festivities of the Derby Festival

The Derby Festival is not just about the horse racing. Here are some of the festivities that make the Derby Festival so unique:

  1. The Fashion: The Derby Festival is famous for its fashion and style. The dress code is typically formal, with ladies wearing elegant dresses and hats, and gentlemen wearing suits and ties.
  2. The Food and Drink: The Derby Festival offers a wide range of food options. Attendees can enjoy everything from a beer & burger to champagne & oysters.
  3. The Entertainment: There is live music from well-known artists as well as carnival rides making it a great event for groups and families.
  4. The Atmosphere: The buzz of the crowds, the sound of the horses thundering down the track and the energy of the festival overall, all combine to create a truly unforgettable experience.

Getting To The Derby At Epsom

Getting to the Derby Festival at Epsom Downs Racecourse can be done via various modes of transport.

  1. By car: Epsom Downs Racecourse is easily accessible by car. Visitors can enter the racecourse via the main entrance on the B290 Epsom Downs Road, or via the Tattenham Corner Road entrance and there is parking available on-site
  2. By train: The nearest train station to Epsom Downs Racecourse is Tattenham Corner which is just a short walk away. Trains run from London Victoria and London Bridge with a journey time of around 35 minutes.
  3. By bus: There are several bus routes that run to Epsom Downs Racecourse, including the 460, 480, and 166. Buses run from Epsom town centre and other nearby locations.
  4. By shuttle bus: Private shuttle bus services are also available for visitors to the Derby Festival. These services typically run from Epsom Station making it perfect for anyone arriving to Epsom via train.
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The Derby Tickets & Packages

When it comes to attending the Derby Festival, there are several package deals available. These packages typically include a combination of tickets, hospitality, food and drinks.

One popular option is the Queen’s Stand package, which offers access to the Queen’s Stand and exclusive views of the races as well as the Parade Ring and Winner’s Circle. Another option is the Tattenham Straight package, which provides access to a private marquee with a garden terrace and views of the races, along with an included lunch, afternoon tea and Pimm’s reception.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, Lonsdale Enclosure admission prices start at just £35. The Lonsdale Enclosure stretches from the finishing straight up to the winning post on the opposite side of the track and features several food & drink stands, bookmakers and more.

Package deals typically vary in price depending on the level of hospitalit. However, they can be a great way to enhance your Derby Festival experience and enjoy the races in style.

Dress Code For The Epsom Derby

The dress code for the Epsom Derby is strictly enforced and varies depending on the enclosure that you’re in.

In the Queen’s Stand and Duchess’s Stand, the dress code is formal and elegant. Men are required to wear a morning suit with a waistcoat and tie and ladies are required to wear formal daywear, such as a dress or skirt suit, with a hat or fascinator.

The Grandstand and Upper Tattenham Enclosure have a less formal dress code but attendees are still expected to dress in a smart and fashionable manner. Men are required to wear a jacket, collar and tie and ladies are required to wear a hat or fascinator.

The Hill Enclosure has a more relaxed dress code, but still, racegoers are encouraged to dress smartly.

epsom derby dress code

Beyond the Festival: Exploring Epsom and its Surroundings

While the Derby Festival is the main attraction in Epsom, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or just a good meal, Epsom and its neighbouring towns have something for everyone.

One popular attraction is the Epsom Downs itself, which is open to the public year-round. Visitors can explore the vast green space and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Epsom Downs

For history buffs, a visit to the nearby Hampton Court Palace is a must. This Tudor palace was once home to King Henry VIII and is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace, explore the gardens and attend exhibitions.

For nature lovers, the nearby Surrey Hills offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring the great outdoors. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to picturesque villages, rolling hills, and plenty of wildlife.

No matter what your interests, there’s something to see and do in the area around Epsom. So why not make a weekend of it and explore everything this beautiful part of England has to offer?

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