One of the first racecourses ever to be opened, Epsom Downs has a long, rich history of flat racing.

Epsom Downs is located in the heart of the Surrey countryside. It's just a few minute's drive from Epsom Town Centre, just off junction 9 of the M25.

Three Group One races take place during the Epsom Derby Festival every year, starting with the Coronation Cup. Epsom is famous for it's two Classic races, the Epsom Oaks and the world-famous Epsom Derby.

Epsom Downs is owned by the Jockey Club and holds a special place in the heart of the British public. The Royal Family has a long association with Epsom Downs too, and the Queen travels to Epsom to watch the Derby every year.

Epsom Downs History

Racing at Epsom Downs dates right back to the mid-1600s. 

The 12th Earl of Derby, Edward Smith-Stanley decided to organise a race for three-year-old fillies in 1779. naming it after his estate, Oaks. 

A year after the first Oaks was run, an equivalent race was set up for three-year-old colts, and named the Epsom Derby.

The Epsom Oaks and the Epsom Derby were originally run over a mile. Four years later, Tattenham corner was introduced, and the Oaks and Derby have been run over a-mile-and-a-half ever since.

The Oaks and the Derby were moved to Newmarket during World War One and World War Two, as Epsom, being so close to London, was always in danger of being hit.

Many of the greatest horses in the history of the sport have hit the headlines at Epsom Downs.

Diomed won the first-ever running of the Epsom Derby in 1780, and has since had a race named after him, the Diomed Stakes, which is run during the Epsom Derby Festival.

Voltigeur, West Australia and Ormonde followed in Diomed's footsteps before World War One. Modern greats like Nijinsky, Shergar and Galileo have all won the Epsom Derby too.

The most famous winner of the Oaks is arguably Pretty Polly, who scored at Epsom during her Triple Crown-winning campaign in 1904. Pretty Polly ran out a superb winner at Epsom in 1985, and she remains the last filly to win the Triple Crown, having struck in the 1000 Guineas and the St Leger that year.

Epsom Downs Major Races

There's only one meeting at Epsom Downs which contains a Group One race, and that's the Epsom Derby Festival.

The first Group One to take place at Epsom is the historic Coronation Cup, which takes place on Oaks day during the meeting.

Open to horses of four-years-old and above, many legends of the sport have claimed victory in the Coronation Cup. 

Sir Nicholas Abbey, who never got the chance to run in the Derby as injury ruined his entire three-year-old campaign, is the only three-time winner of the Coronation Cup.

Other famous winners include former Oaks winner Pretty Polly, who won two Coronation Cups in the early 1900s. The White Knight, Petite Etoile, Triptych and Warrsan also managed to win back-to-back renewals of the Coronation Cup.

The opening day of the Epsom Derby Festival is headlined by the Epsom Oaks. This Classic forms part of the fillies' Triple Crown, which is awarded to any filly who can win the 1000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks and the St Leger in the same season.

The following day, the colts take centre-stage in the world-famous Epsom Derby. The Epsom Derby, along with the 2000 Guineas and the St Leger form the colt's Triple Crown, the last winner of which being the great Nijinsky in 1970.

Epsom Downs Track Guide

Epsom is a truly unique track, consisting of a 12-furlong horseshoe-shaped track, and a five-furlong chute for sprint races over the minimum distance. No race over 12 furlongs in length can take place at Epsom.

Once the runners leave the stalls, they embark on a stiff uphill climb until they reach the seven-furlong marker. The field then swings around the famous Tattenham corner. The pace naturally picks up at this point, as the track starts to descend back down the hill.

The track levels out a little down the home-straight, and starts to climb again on the run to the line.

The five-furlong track is a downhill run all the way until the final 100 yards or so, making Epsom one of the fasts sprint tracks in the world.

Such is the nature of the course at Epsom, some horses simply can't deal with the test. Others, however, thrive on the undulations and become track specialists at Epsom Downs.

Group One Schedule


Coronation Cup
Epsom Oaks
Epsom Derby

Epsom Downs Odds

For many of the Group One races listed above, bookmakers like Bet365, regularly offer an ante-post market which allows you to place a bet well in advance of the actual race.

As interest in the Derby and the Oaks is so high, and the entries are made when possible runners are just two, odds for both Classic are made available the year before the race.

Horses who end their juvenile campaigns with big wins over a mile or further are often thrust to the head of the Derby betting. 

They are often usurped by horses who run well in the opening races of their three-year-old campaigns, and those who run well in the Trials races at Lingfield, Newmarket, York and Chester.

Aidan O'Brien has an excellent record in both the Derby and the Oaks. O'Brien also has a replica of Tattenham corner at his training base in Ballydoyle. His best three-year-olds are always well fancied for Epsom's Classics.

Bookmaker Promotions for Epsom

In a crowded online sports betting world, bookmakers are always trying to attract new customers, which is why punters can get their hands on some cracking offers for meetings like the Epsom Derby Festival.

Bookies regularly boost the odds of short-priced favourites, and offer extra places in some of the big field handicaps. So, keep your eyes peeled.

Live Streaming

With the action from Epsom being of the highest order, the majority of the major races are shown live on TV in the UK, thanks to programs such as ITV Racing or RacingTV.

If you are on the go or want to catch the action from outside the UK, then a live streaming service is the way to go!

Plenty of the bookies have them, but Bet365 is one of the better ones and they let you watch the race as long as you have a positive account or have placed a bet within the last 24 hours.

Tips & Betting Predictions

Our tips are now available for the 2020 renewal of the Epsom Oaks, where 1000 Guineas winner Love will bid to hand Aidan O'Brien another Classic win at Epsom.

We also have tips for the 2020 Epsom Derby at Epsom Downs, where Ed Walker's English King heads the current betting.

Epsom Downs FAQs

When was Epsom Downs racecourse opened?

The exact date is unknown, but racing dates back to Epsom Downs in the early 1600s.

Where is Epsom Downs racecourse?

Epsom Downs is located in the county of Surrey, just outside London.

What races take place at Epsom?

The Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks are run at Epsom Downs every year. The third Group One staged at Epsom is the Coronation Cup.

When is the Epsom Derby 2020?

In 2020, with Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks will be run on the same day, Saturday 4th July.

How many fans can get into Epsom?

Epsom Downs has a maximum stadium capacity of 130,000.