Compare today’s Epsom Derby betting odds from the top bookies below. You can also claim bookmakers’ free bets on the big race.
Derby Betting Odds
4.30pm Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Epsom; click best odds in bold; Each-Way Place Terms: 1/4 odds 1,2,3.
Good record for favourites in Derby betting odds
The Epsom Derby, run on the first Saturday in June, is always a big betting event. In Britain alone £350million is generated on the UK’s favourite flat race. It has unrivalled status within the flat racing world. Every jockey, trainer, owner and breeder wants to land it and every punter wants to win it with them.
Over three million people watch the Epsom Derby on UK TV – it is also shown in over 200 other countries worldwide – and over 150,000 people make the pilgrimage to Epsom Downs to watch it on the day. The race boasts betting turnover larger than any in the UK except the Grand National.
Does The Derby generate such interest because it is a race that anyone can win, like the Grand National? Not really. Unlike the Aintree showpiece there are no obstacles and it is not a handicap. At Epsom, each horse carries the same weight of 9st, so the best horse in the field is most likely to prevail. It is no surprise in the past 10 years over 40% of the winners have been favourites or joint favourites. The other 60% in that time period came from the top half of the market. So it has been a good race for the punters. That said, four 100-1 shots have prevailed in the past but the most recent was a long time ago, back in 1913. Over the last decade, the average Epsom Derby odds returned about the winner is under 4-1.
That trend was maintained in 2014 when Australia gave favourite backers a typical boost, winning the race at 11/8. It gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his fifth Epsom Derby triumph and his third on the trot.
The previous year was not so good for supporters of the favourite as it was Dawn Approach (5/4) who went into the 2013 a short price in the Derby odds, having won the 2000 Guineas. Many people believed he was home and hosed before the stalls opened. In a reminder of why the bookmakers are all public limited companies and some punters tend to frequent charity shops, the horse came last.
Trainer Jim Bolger’s star humiliated his jockey Kevin Manning by pulling hard and ultimately carting the rider into the lead. The previously unbeaten colt then started to go backwards rapidly as the field rushed by him. It was the Aidan O’Brien second string (of his five-strong raiding party) Ruler Of The World (7-1) who lived up to his name, forging ahead of fast-finisher, Yorkshire-trained Dante Stakes winner Libertarian.
Winning jockey Ryan Moore was landing his second success in the race after Workforce‘s imperious triumph in 2010. Ruler Of The World had won the Chester Vase by six lengths and had not been unfancied in the run up to the event. O’Brien was reaffirming what we already knew, that he always sends high class performers to the two Chester trials.
One year earlier in 2012 the same Aidan O’Brien and his jockey son Joseph had landed the race with odds-on favourite Camelot, who had previously won the 2000 Guineas. The 8/13 shot stormed clear in the final furlong to post a five-length win, and so upholding the fantastic record of fancied horses.
First run in 1780, the Epsom Derby is one of the world’s longest established horse races. Of the English Classics, only the St Leger is older, stealing a head start circa 1776. It is the pinnacle of the two-day Epsom meeting in early June, the crowds having had their appetite whet by indulging in Oaks Betting on the day before.
According to the record books, the name of the race was decided on the toss of a coin between friends – the 12th Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury – both of whom wanted to create a contest to test the best three year old racehorses. The Earl of Derby obviously won the toss on the naming of the race (or it would have been known as ‘The Bunbury’ rather than The Derby) but Sir Charles’ horse, Diomed, triumphed in the inaugural running over a mile across the Epsom Downs.
The race distance may have changed to 1m4f, but the rule about three year old contestants (colts and fillies) has remained unaltered. Because of that age restriction, we are obviously denied repeat performances from the main players, the horses. There can be no equivalent of the Grand National multi-race winning hero horses like Red Rum to help promote the Epsom Derby’s popularity.
Jockeys to follow for your Epsom Derby betting
Since 1999 Kieren Fallon has ridden three winners of the big race. Ryan Moore has notched two, Workforce in 2010 and Ruler Of The World in 2013. Neither of those riders has won exclusively for a single trainer although two of Fallon’s successes were achieved on board Sir Michael Stoute’s horses.
Joseph O’Brien has notched two successes on favourites Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014), both trained by his dad. Whoever rides for Aidan O’Brien has, you would think, to stand a good chance of repeated success. However O’Brien often saddles multiple runners – he had five of the 12 runners in 2013 and six of the 12 in 2009.
His 2009 9/4 favourite, Fame and Glory, was famously beaten by the brilliant John Oxx-trained Sea the Stars, second favourite at 11/4. Sea The Stars, like Camelot in 2012, had previously won the 2000 Guineas.
That year’s Epsom Derby also demonstrates that you might be better off trusting the Derby odds rather than the stable jockey’s judgement when it comes to picking the best of the Aidan O’Brien runners. Johnny Murtagh chose to ride the 6/1 shot, Rip Van Winkle, who finished behind not just O’Brien’s Fame and Glory but Masterofthehorse too, giving him an unexpected rear view of both Heffernan and Hughes at the finishing line.
The favourite in 2010 was Jan Vermeer. Again stable jockey Murtagh partnered the O’Brien trained hotpot but, once again he got it wrong as trail-blazing and unheralded stablemate At First Sight (100/1) was runner-up. Though they all had to watch Ryan Moore steer trainer Michael Stoute’s Workforce (6/1) to a facile seven-length Epsom Derby win. Jan Vermeer (9/4) was a distant fourth.
In 2013 trainer O’Brien won again, but with his second string Ruler Of The World. His son Joseph had the choice of the yard’s quintet of raiders but got it wrong with the shortest of their runners in the Derby odds, Battle Of Merengo, who could only manage fourth.
The 2011 renewal saw the Queen’s Carlton House go off as 5/2 favourite. If the colt had been owned by anyone else then the second favourite would have been shorter in the betting. Loyalty bets rained in on the royal runner but Carlton House could manage no more than an honourable third while the Andre Fabre French-trained Pour Moi came fast and late to land the spoils under 17-year-old Mikel Barzalona.
Looking back on recently retired jockeys, some veterans boast a formidable record in the race, most notably Lester Piggott with nine victories. He achieved his first Epsom Derby success at just 18 years of age in 1954 with Never Say Die and his ninth almost 30 years later in 1983 on Teenoso. The peerless Mick Kinane won the 2009 race, his third Derby, on Sea The Stars, at the age of 50. Johnny Murtagh is another to have gained three victories.
How to read the Epsom Derby Odds
Favourites have a great recent record and while outsiders can run into a place they rarely win. Keep an eye on the Aidan O’Brien runners, but his most fancied horse has not always beaten it’s lesser-fancied stablemates. Of the current crop of jockeys, Ryan Moore, Joseph O’Brien and Kieren Fallon have the best recent records.
History has proved that three year old colts can be unpredictable, fragile creatures so the value seekers each year sharpen their pencils to make alternative selections to the fancied horses in the Derby odds. However history also shows the runners that most often prevail are at or near the front of the Epsom betting.