The Derby Free Bets

The Derby Stakes is best known as "The Derby" and is a Group 1 flat race for three-year old colts run over a mile, four furlongs and ten yards  It is the richest horse race in the UK and has been held every year since the 18th century and is the fourth classic of the season and so you can image that free bets are going to be widely available for this one.

2018 Derby 

The greatest Flat race in the world takes place at Epsom on Saturday and Saxon Warrior is a favourite that cannot be opposed. You can read a more detailed preview of the 2018 Derby which explains why the horse is a rock solid betting proposition. Saxon Warrior is trained by Aidan O’Brien who has won the Derby six times and four times in the last six years. 

He broke the record for the number of Grade 1 and Group 1 races in a calender year in 2017 and he can add to his tally for this season with Saxon Warrior who can be backed at 4/6 with William Hill to win the Derby. The horse will be ridden by Ryan Moore who won the Derby in 2010 and 2013. Roaring Lion was narrowly beaten by Saxon Warrior last October at Doncaster in the Racing Post Trophy which identifies one of the best juvenile colts of the season. 

Roaring Lion (11/2 with Ladbrokes) won the Dante Stakes at York which has become established as the most significant trail for the Derby. Young Rascal won the Chester Vase and is owned by someone who works for the sponsors. Masar was impressive in the Craven Stakes but beating SAXON WARRIOR looks beyond that horse who is the horse to back for this year’s Derby Stakes.         

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Using Your Derby Free Bet

There are plenty of chances to use your free bet on the Derby. These include betting on:

  • The winner
  • Winning Jockey
  • Winning trainer
  • Nationality of the trainer
  • Winning distance

The Countdown to the Derby

Everyone in racing wants to ride, train or own a Derby winner. The process starts at the sales when the search is on to find that really special horse. Looking at the parentage of the horse is really important, for example Urban Sea has been the dam to two Derby winners, Galileo and Sea the Stars. Every season there are two-year-olds making their debut that are highly touted as potential Derby winners the following year. Ante-post betting is available on next year's Derby and the performance of two year-olds helps keep that market moving.

When the horses turn three years old they're ready for Derby season and this really goes into overdrive when the 2000 Guineas takes place. The winner of this classic is often made the favourite to win the Derby but a lot depends on whether it can handle the step up in distance from a mile. Derby trials such as the Dante Stakes at York are held in the gap between the 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

History of The Derby

In 1779 the Oaks Stakes was held for the first time, at a post-event celebration a new race was discussed and this was to be the Derby. Why that name? Well legend says that it was either going to be named after the 12th Earl of Derby or Sir Charles Bunbury. Unable to make a decision a coin was tossed to decide the name. Others say that Bunbury, who was the Steward of the Jockey Club, agreed to the race being called the Derby. The Bunbury doesn't really sound the same does it?

The first Derby took place on Thursday 4 May 1780 and was won by Diomed, ironically owned by Bunbury. The prize money for that first Derby was £1,065.15s. Initially the race was held over a mile but in 1784 this was upped to a mile and a half.  1787 saw Lord Derby achieve his first success in the race when Sir Peter Tweazle won the race.

The race was supposed to be run over a mile and a half since that change in 1784 but the starting point of the Derby was changed in both 1848 and 1872. Over a century later in 1991 it was discovered the exact length of the race was 10 yards longer than a mile and a half, so any horse overtaken right at the end of the Derby may have been denied a famous victory.

The day the race has been held on has been changed on several occasions. Initially it was held on a Thursday in either late May or early June, a lot depended on when Easter took place. In 1838 in order to fit in with the railway timetables, it was changed to a Wednesday. From 1900 the Derby was held on the first Wednesday of June but during the First World War it was switched to a Tuesday and a Saturday while World War Two was taking place. After a few more changes in the years following the war it settled back to the first Wednesday in June untiil 1995 when it was moved to the first Saturday in June.

Between 1915 and 1918 and 1940 to 1945 the race moved venue taking place at Newmarket instead. These races are known as 'The New Derby.'

Famous Winners 

Some of the best known horses of all-time have won the Derby but there are many that failed to add the big race to their many other successes.  Famous winners of the Derby include Nijinsky, Shergar, Roberto,  High Chaparel, The Minstrel, Mill Reef and Santa Claus.

The most famous loser has to be Dancing Brave who was favourite to win the Derby in 1986 but could only finish second. He'd been held up by jockey Greville Starkey and just failed to catch the leader. He went on to win the Prix de L'arc de Triomphe later in the season.

Last Ten Winners of the Derby

2017 - Wings Of Eagles, Padriag Beggy, Aidan O'Brien, 40/1

2016 - Harzand, Pat Smullen, Dermot Weld, 13/2

2015 - Golden Horn, Frankie Dettori, John Gosden, 13/8F

2014 - Australia, Joseph O’Brien, Aidan O’Brien, 11/8F

2013 - Ruler Of The World, Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien, 7/1

2012 - Camelot, Joseph O’Brien, Aidan O’Brien, 8/13F

2011 - Pour Moi, Mickael Barzalona, 4/1

2010 - Workforce, Ryan Moore, Sir Michael Stoute, 6/1

2009 - Sea The Stars, Michael Kinane, John Oxx, 11/4

2008 - New Approach, Kevin Manning, Jim Bolger, 5/1

Jockeys

Lester Pigott rode the winner of the Derby on nine occasions between 1954 and 1983. He first won the race in 1954 on Never Say Die when he was aged just 18. Famous winners included Nijinsky, Roberto, The Minstrel and his last winner Teenoso when he was 47 years of age.

The last jockey to win the race two years in a row is Keiron Fallon who won the race in 2003 and 2004. Joseph O'Brien has won the race twice in the past five years.

Trainers

Three trainers have won the Derby on seven occasions: Robert Robson (1793-1823), John Porter (1886-1899) and Fred Darling (1922-1941). Aiden O'Brien has trained the winner of four of the last six Derbys.

Owners

Sue Magnier and Michael Talbot have been co-owners of the Derby winner on a record seven occasions.

Derby Trends

The average price of the winner over the last 10 years is 15/2.

Four outright favourites have won the race since 2006.

Nine of 10 winners raced as a two year-old.

All the winners in the last decade had their prep race in May.

Every winner since 2006 had won at least half their previous races.

Each winner had raced more than once but less than eight times.

Eight winners had previously won Group races.

Only 3 of the last 10 winners were British trained.

Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori and Joseph O’Brien have two wins since 2006.

Key Trials (Winners): Chester Vase and Dante Stakes

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