Compare the Epsom Derby odds from the top bookies using the betting table below. You can also claim big-race free bets.
Derby Betting Odds
4pm TODAY on CH4, Saturday, June 7 at Epsom; click best odds in bold; Place: 1/4 odds 1,2,3.
Good Derby record for betting favourites
The Epsom Derby, always a fierce betting heat, is on the first Saturday in June. In Britain alone, £250million is generated on Epsom Derby Betting. It is unquestionably, the UK’s favourite flat race. It has unrivalled status within the flat racing world. Every jockey, trainer, owner and breeder wants to win 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 two hundred other countries worldwide – and over 150,000 people make the pilgrimage to Epsom Downs to watch it on the day. The Epsom Derby boasts betting turnover larger than any single race in the UK except the Grand National.
Does The Derby generate epic betting turnovers because it is a race that anyone can supposedly win, like the Grand National?
The Epsom Derby runners obviously do not have the challenge of encountering previously unknown obstacles and, just as significantly, having to avoid the other thirty nine horses and riders in the race who may have come to grief less than a stride in front of them. Conventional form is pretty unlikely to be confounded by a pile up.
It’s no surprise then that, in the past ten 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 past ten years, the average price in the betting of the Epsom Derby winner has been under 4-1.
Dawn Approach went into the 2013 race a red-hot favourite having won the 2000 Guineas, like Camelot had the year before. However this time the Epsom result was very different.
Many people believed Dawn Approach was home and hosed before the stalls opened. In a reminder of why the bookmakers are all publically 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. This was a horse that should have been held up. 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 good record of fancied horses.
On the other side of the coin, there are often some total no-hopers that should not be in the race. In 2008, a horse called Maidstone Mixture started at 250/1 but had been offered at odds as long as a thousand to one, ante-post. It had a few bookmakers, especially those well represented in Kent – the county in which the town of Maidstone and the horse’s owner is situated – worried. The long price had attracted a large volume of small bets that could reportedly have cost bookmakers forty million pounds.
They need not have been concerned. It was a free giveaway for the bookies, the horse should really have been a million to one and not allowed to sully the great race. After racing prominently early on in the race, the horse finished last of the 16 runners, tailed off by nearly 40 lengths. The 7/2 favourite,Casual Conquest, also failed to impress and finished third as New Approach claimed victory at the price of 5/1.
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 one mile four furlongs, 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.
Fortunately there are no such age restrictions on the Derby jockeys. Some have built a formidable record in the race, most notably Lester Piggott with nine victories. He achieved his first Epsom Derby success at just eighteen years of age in 1954 with Never Say Die and his ninth almost thirty 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. He has now also retired.
Are there jockeys riding now who are worth following to help you to achieve Epsom Derby betting success?
Possibly. In the past ten years both Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh have achieved three victories. Ryan Moore has notched two, Workforce in 2010 and Ruler Of The World in 2013, and counting. None of that trio of riders has won exclusively for a single trainer although two of Fallon’s successes were achieved on board Sir Michael Stoute’s horses. Whoever rides for Aidan O’Brien has, you would think, to stand a good chance of repeated success. That said, O’Brien saddled 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 betting market rather than the stable jockey’s judgement when it comes to picking the best of the Aidan O’Brien runners. 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 the Epsom Derby betting market in 2010 was Jan Vermeer. Again Murtagh partnered the Aidan 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 O’Brien won again, but with his second string Ruler Of The World. His jockey son Joseph O’Brien had the choice of the yard’s quintet of raiders but chose wrong when deciding to partner the shortest of their runners in the odds, Battle Of Merengo, who could only manage fourth.
The 2011 renewal saw the Queen’s Carlton House go off at odds of 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-oldMikel Barzalona. A year later another teenager, the 19-year-old jockey Joseph O’Brien, landed the race on Camelot.
History has proved that three year olds can be unpredictable, fragile creatures so the value seekers each year sharpen their pencils to make alternative selections to the fancied horses. However history also shows the runners that most often prevail are at or near the front of the Epsom Derby betting.