The Derby betting is all about finding the best thoroughbred racehorse of its generation. In this detailed guide to Epsom Derby betting, you can find the top online bookmakers for your wagers. Get the lowdown on betting on The Derby right here.
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When it comes to Derby betting online in the UK, you may be wondering how we at SafeBettingSites rank the bookmakers. We use industry experts who really place wagers on the premier Classic and ask them what they look for. They are no strangers to Derby horse betting and know what best in class looks like. We requested some key criteria, so to get onto our list of bookmakers their online Derby betting must include the following:
As an early closing race, and arguably the most important in the British Flat season, a top online bookmaker should have an ante post Derby betting well in advance. Quotes should be given for two-year-olds the year before the big day at Epsom if they have won a recognised juvenile trial. For a good selection of ante post Derby betting odds online, William Hill take some beating.
Nearer the time of the race, there should be a much greater variety of Derby betting odds available beyond the simple win outright and each way market. As we shall see below, match bets, a market without the favourite and more exotic wagers like forecasts and tricasts should be among your options. At Betfair, there is a substantial range of both regular fixed odds markets and exchange betting at your fingertips.
As well shall see below, a big betting race like The Derby still needs offers and promotions to attract customers. There is wider public attention on Epsom Downs because this race is the premier Classic. Many casual fans of horse racing may bet on this race and not others. A top bookie caters for everyone with the deals they put on. Whether it’s extra places or a money back offer, the promo should grab your attention. The Bonus King of horse racing is Betfred, who have a big reputation when it comes to deals.
If you’re out and about while The Derby takes place, then access to a live streaming service that shows all the action as it unfolds is important. Novice punters may also want a few pointers on who to back, so expert analysis and a shortlist on the Epsom racecard can help. With extra features like these, 888Sport are top dogs because their neat BetFinder tool helps you narrow down the field in big races like The Derby.
Whatever you bet on, you want to get the top prices. While almost all bookies have the Best Odds Guaranteed in place for wagers on the day, that only applies relative to the starting price (SP). What you need is a sportsbook with a Price Promise like Bet365 that guarantees you the industry leading odds in the build-up to big races broadcast on ITV Racing like The Derby.
In case you don’t know, the Epsom Derby is an aged restricted conditions stakes horse race on the Flat and the most valuable in Britain in terms of prize money. Only three-year-old colts and fillies can compete in the race, so geldings are ineligible. First run in 1780, it was initially contested over a mile, but four years later the event was extended to its current distance of a mile-and-a-half.
Like The Oaks, which is run the day before, the Epsom Derby is considered one of the five Classics of the British Flat horse racing season. These are immensely important for the future of the thoroughbred racehorse. Winners of The Derby are virtually guaranteed a career at stud after their racing days end.
It holds Group 1 status, and winners can go on to contest the Irish Derby at the Curragh, St Leger at Doncaster and other top level races open to older horses. The table below lists all the Epsom Derby winners since 2000 but other past famous victors include Shergar, Mill Reef, Nijinsky, Hyperion, Ormonde, Gladiateur and Voltigeur.
The latest Derby betting prices are here for your reference. They are of course subject to change and all of the top horse racing betting sites should have them. Here are the 2022 Epsom Derby betting odds as things stand:
Others available on request with online bookies
For months and months before the big race, you can only get Epsom Derby betting that is what they call ante post. The latest Derby betting listed above have their prices taken from that very market. There are positives and negatives to ante post betting on any horse race or sports event in general. That is the same with any form of wager. It is important that you understand both the risks and rewards that specifically come with betting on The Derby in advance:
There are several key trials that shape The Derby betting online throughout the Flat season and end of the previous one. You need to pay special attention to these races in both the UK and Ireland listed below as they will influence the market. The Epsom Derby ante post betting will change based on the results in these events, which are all Class 1 races where what they call black type is available:
The Derby is no ordinary race, so you can expect the bookies to have some promotions relating to the big one at Epsom. We are talking about specific deals here. These aren’t Epsom Derby betting offers aimed at new customers but everyone. There is wider public interest in the online Derby betting because of the race’s storied and lengthy history, huge prestige and massive prize money that comes with winning it. Here are some of the most popular promotions that you should look to take advantage of with Derby day betting on the premier Classic:
This offer is only going to apply if the online Derby betting following final declarations has 12 or more runners in the field, and they come under orders. It follows that the more horses that contest the Epsom showpiece, then more bookies will offer an extra place for each way betting. You should certainly getting four or possibly even five places paid out. Many bookmakers have Extra Place Race offers, including William Hill. Their Pick Your Places promotion applies from 10am on Derby day, and you also have the option to Lengthen Your Odds by reducing the number a bet pays out on.
Any time that you get the chance to enhance the odds for any wager you place, you should take it. The bookies don’t discriminate with Bet Boosts when it comes to betting on the Derby at Epsom. Whether it is in the ante post market or on the day of the big race, these enhancements help you squeeze out a bit of extra value. Again plenty of bookies provide Bet Boosts, but the most famous example might just be Betfair. Their My Odds Boost gives you the next recognised industry price up from the current odds on three horses per day. They may even extend the offer to six when there’s Derby day betting to be done.
Finishing second with your fancied horse is always pretty gutting, so it’s good to know there are promotions out there that will compensate you for going so close. That is where Money Back if Second deals come in. The refund nowadays often comes in the form of a free bet, but on a big race like The Derby some bookies may be generous and offer your stake back as cash. Betfred are among the bookies who run a Free Bet if Second promotion on selected races that must have five or more runners. This applies only to the win parts of each way bets and there is a maximum free bet issue of £10.
They say the best things in life are free, and that also applies when you are betting on The Derby at Epsom. It’s an obvious advantage if you can place wagers on a major event in the annual sports calendar like this without risking any of your cash balance. There are various ways that you can get free bets through the bookies, so you don’t wager any actual money on the premier Classic. Remember, you don’t receive stakes back with any winning made via free bets, but these options are worth exploring:
Weekly Free Bet Clubs reward the loyalty of punters who bet regularly. They are perfect for fans of horse racing as there is always plenty of action to wager on. The week before The Derby, you may wish to place the required number of bets to unlock the bonus for the Monday. This gives you a free bet to play with one the penultimate declaration stage happens. Paddy Power are famous for their Paddy’s Rewards Club. Bet 5x £5 at minimum odds of 1/2 (1.50) one week and get a £5 free bet for the next. If you wager 5x £10 in qualifying bets in the time frame, then it’s a £10 free bet you get.
The most obvious way to get free bets that you can use on The Derby is to sign up with bookies that you have never bet with before. Some will offer you a risk free bet and others a bet and get deal. Either way, you eventually receive bonuses that you can wager with instead of your cash balance. Among the industry big boys, Bet365 are well known for their new customer offer. You can get up to £100 in bet credits as they call such bonuses upon joining. The terms and conditions attached are generous too. There is no expiry date on these either, so long as you keep your account active for 90 days.
You can of course only sign up to a bookie once, so there are also ongoing deals open to everyone with an account that can help you claim some free bets. From finding winners over a certain odds thresholds to the deal noted above that compensates you with a Free Bet if Second. Any extra winnings bonuses may come in form of horse racing free bets, so keep a lookout for those. What is on offer can shape who you place your bets with. When it comes to the range of promotions available, 888Sport comes with plenty to recommend it. Their offers include the Each Way + deal and 4/1+ Winner free bet bonus.
Whether it’s Epsom Derby ante post betting or waiting until final declarations and the big day, some markets prove more popular than others with punters. With that in mind, it is worth your while knowing the kind of wagers people place on The Derby most often:
Keeping things simple by backing a horse to win the Epsom Derby is the most popular bet on offer. Your horse must come first in the premier Classic for this wager to payout. If you are going win only, then why not do so with Bet365, whose Price Promise covers The Derby as it is broadcast on ITV Racing.
Placing an each way bet on the Epsom Derby could be the smart call. That is what many seasoned punters do in advance using the ante post market. The advantage this wager has over the straight win is that you get a return if a horse places. There may be extra places if The Derby attracts a large field too. We have already recommended William Hill for Extra Place races, so their each way betting is well stocked.
As the table of past Epsom Derby winners above highlighted, there have been three short-price favourites win the premier Classic from 2012 onwards. In such instances, betting without the favourite may have offered value to punters. It doesn’t matter if the chosen horse beats the favourite and wins, or finishes second to them, the wager pays out either way. For betting without the favourite, Betfair offer both sportsbook and exchange prices.
Also sometimes called head to head, a match bet in horse racing on the Epsom Derby would be for a named horse to beat another. They don’t have to win the race, just finish in front of the other horse included in the bet. Just think of it as a race within a race. For match bets, it is well worth looking at what Betfred has to offer come the big day.
Did you know that, until 1995, Derby day used to be a Wednesday. The first Saturday in June has hosted this world-famous race since. Epsom Downs has the Derby Festival on over two days starting on the Friday. While The Oaks and other races take place on the opening day of the meeting, there is an entire card on Derby day itself.
The supporting races include four valuable handicaps including the Epsom Dash for sprinters. There are also two Group 3 races, both over an extended mile, in the build-up to the big race. The table below contains the full schedule for Derby day betting purposes with good prize money on offer throughout:
We asked our experts for Derby day betting tips with a particular focus on the big race itself. They have been betting on the big one at Epsom for many a year, so have learned a thing or two about the premier Classic. Pay attention to these Epsom Derby betting tips and they should see you right.
Even if it is in the ante post Derby betting market, there are each way bets to be found on this big race. You may have to sit on them for a long while, and there are risks attached because there won’t be any non-runner no bet or Best Odds Guaranteed terms if you wager in advance, but this lies at the heart of all horse racing.
Getting a fancy placed at a big price could actually work out as better value than finding the winner. Mitigating your potential for loss is vital in any form of gambling, and The Derby is no different. This is where each way betting comes into its own. Always be on the lookout for potentially overpriced horses in the market.
As you may have noticed in the table above that listed all the key recognised Derby trials, only one is over the same distance. There is very little chance of horses being exposed over a mile-and-a-half until running in the premier Classic. You need to study the thoroughbreds’ pedigrees from the entries closely. That can’t tell you everything about a horse but it leaves you better informed than if you didn’t bother to look into it.
One additional pointer that is among our Derby day betting tips concerns horses who raced as two-year-olds. In their juvenile season on the Flat, it is handy if horses stayed had winning form over a mile. As they strengthen up over the winter and become three-year-olds, they may within the bounds of their pedigree, get a mile-and-a-half. The bare minimum any Epsom Derby contender needs to have won over aged two is seven furlongs.
Epsom Downs is a pretty unique track. It is undulating and left-handed with a sharp turn at Tattenham Corner. There is then a downhill plunge in the home straight. It doesn’t suit every racehorse’s style of running. In recent years, successful horses in The Derby have been fairly prominent in the run. Epsom is not an easy track to come from off the pace, especially for three-year-olds still learning their craft.
That means you have to assess how Derby contenders win their races. If they are hold-up horses, then you are relying on the field coming back to them. One thing that is usually assured in the Epsom Derby is a strong pace, but the race doesn’t always fall apart. Carefully measured rides, such as the one given to Serpentine in 2020, can see horses win the premier Classic from the front.
We have already seen how the latest Derby betting odds are shaped by trials run in the UK and Ireland. You need to keep across all of that so you are fully aware of what is fancied and why. It can be worth watching the trials themselves in case you spot something in the run. A horse may get hampered when about throw down its challenge or be short of room as gaps don’t appear at the right time for them.
Given better luck and a clear run, then such horses may have won the trials and been a lot shorter in the market for the premier Classic. Another of our Epsom Derby betting tips is to think carefully about such types. When they got into the clear, did they make late headway and were they staying on at the finish? If they leave you with the impression that they may have been unlucky, then they could be a bit of market value.
Now that you’ve read our Derby day betting tips, learned all about key trials, the history of the race and the offers and promotions that betting sites on the premier Classic, that’s about all. Epsom’s big race is already assured of its spot as a major event in the horse racing and British sporting calendar. All that remains for you now is to back the winner!
Other than during the First and Second World Wars when it was staged at Newmarket, The Derby has always taken place on Epsom Downs in Surrey. The course there is a left-handed, undulating track that tests the maturity and ability of the horses competing.
You can find the Epsom Derby betting odds available on all of the leading online bookmakers in the UK. Whether it is the ante post market or on the day of this big race, just add the name of the horse you want to back to your betslip after logging into betting account. Now enter your stake and confirm your wager.
No, it is impossible for any racehorse to win The Derby twice because this race is a Classic. In other words, it is age restricted and the conditions of the race specify that only three-year-old colts and fillies may enter. A horse can only be a three-year-old once.
Five favourites have justified their place at the head of the Epsom Derby betting online from 2005 onwards. However, no market leader has been successful in this race since Golden Horn in 2015.
The Derby usually takes place on the first Saturday in June as the fifth of seven races on the second day of the Derby Festival at Epsom. It often has a scheduled off time of 16:30 BST.
Jamie Clark has worked in the sports betting and related industries for many years. A horse racing expert, he also has a passion for track and field athletics. Jamie has covered all major sporting events with a focus on gambling from World Cups to Ashes Series, Grand Slams and even the Olympics.
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