If you’re a fan of horse racing, you’ve likely heard of Epsom Downs Racecourse. This iconic venue has been hosting races for over 200 years and is home to some of the most prestigious events in the sport. From the Derby Festival to the Oaks, there is always something exciting happening at Epsom Downs.
If you’re planning to attend a race at Epsom Downs, it’s important to be prepared. Knowing the layout of the course, where to place your bets, and what to wear can all make your experience more enjoyable. That’s why we’ve put together this Epsom Downs Racecourse guide to help you navigate the venue like a pro. With our tips and advice, you’ll be able to make the most of your day at the races and fully immerse yourself in the excitement of this historic event.
Epsom Downs Racecourse Overview
If you’re a fan of horse racing, then Epsom Downs Racecourse is a must-visit destination. Located in Surrey, UK, Epsom Downs is one of the most famous racecourses in the world. It is home to The Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races in the UK, which takes place every year in early June.
Epsom Downs Racecourse is owned by the Jockey Club and is situated on the chalk downland of the North Downs, which gives spectators a unique panoramic view of the capital and beyond. The course is shaped like an elongated horseshoe and is revered across the horse racing world as one of the most testing flat racing tracks on the planet.
The course has a crowd capacity of 130,000 when taking into account people watching from the Epsom Downs, an area freely available to the public. The Downs referred to in the name are part of the North Downs and are a popular spot for picnics and walks.
Epsom Downs Racecourse hosts many other races throughout the year, including the Oaks, the fillies’ equivalent to The Derby, which takes place a day earlier over the same course and distance. The racecourse also hosts a variety of other events, including music concerts, food festivals, and corporate events.
If you’re planning to visit Epsom Downs Racecourse, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of facilities available to make your day as enjoyable as possible. There are numerous bars and restaurants, as well as betting facilities and a variety of food and drink stalls. Additionally, there is ample parking available, and the racecourse is easily accessible by public transport.
Overall, Epsom Downs Racecourse is a fantastic destination for horse racing enthusiasts and those looking for a fun day out. With its stunning location, prestigious races, and excellent facilities, it’s no wonder that Epsom Downs is one of the most famous racecourses in the world.
Key Races at Epsom Downs
Epsom Downs is home to some of the most prestigious races in the world, including the Derby and the Oaks. In this section, we will take a closer look at these races and other notable events that take place at the course.
The Derby, also known as the Epsom Derby or the Cazoo Derby, is a Group 1 flat horse race that takes place annually in June. It is one of the most famous and valuable races in the world, with a prize fund of over £1.5 million. The race is open to three-year-old colts and fillies and is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and six yards.
The Derby is often referred to as the “Blue Riband” of the turf, and it has a long and illustrious history dating back to 1780. Some of the most famous horses in racing history have won the Derby, including Nijinsky, Shergar, and Galileo.
The Oaks is a Group 1 flat horse race for three-year-old fillies that takes place annually in June. It is run over the same course and distance as the Derby and is considered to be the fillies’ equivalent of that race. The prize fund for the Oaks is also over £1.5 million.
The Oaks has been run since 1779 and has produced some memorable moments over the years. Some of the most successful horses in the race’s history include Sun Princess, Oh So Sharp, and Enable.
Other Notable Races
In addition to the Derby and the Oaks, Epsom Downs hosts several other notable races throughout the year. These include:
- Coronation Cup: A Group 1 race for horses aged four and over, run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and six yards.
- Epsom Dash: A five-furlong handicap race that takes place in June.
- Princess Elizabeth Stakes: A Group 3 race for fillies and mares aged three and over, run over a distance of one mile, one furlong and 209 yards.
- Diomed Stakes: A Group 3 race for horses aged three and over, run over a distance of one mile, 114 yards.
- Woodcote Stakes: A Listed race for two-year-olds, run over a distance of six furlongs.
The Derby Festival is a two-day event that takes place annually in June. It features some of the most prestigious races on the Epsom Downs calendar, including the Derby and the Oaks. In addition to the racing, the festival also includes a range of entertainment and hospitality options, making it a popular event for both racing enthusiasts and casual fans alike.
Overall, Epsom Downs is a must-visit destination for anyone with an interest in horse racing. With its rich history, stunning course, and world-class events, it is a true jewel in the crown of British racing.
Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the most famous and fastest in the world. The course is a testing one, with races up to eight and a half furlongs. The course is a true test of stamina, with a steep uphill climb followed by a demanding turning descent. The course is downhill and undulating before the final uphill climb to the finish.
The course has a five-furlong course that joins the main course at Tattenham Corner. The course is ‘u’ shaped with two long straights and two bends. The first bend is a left-handed turn, followed by a right-handed turn around Tattenham Corner. The second bend is a left-handed turn that leads into the home straight.
The course is known for its testing conditions, with better ground found on the stands’ side. The camber of the track can make it difficult for horses to maintain their balance, particularly on the downhill section. The hills and undulations of the course can also make it difficult for horses to maintain their stride and rhythm.
Overall, Epsom Downs Racecourse is a challenging course that tests both horse and jockey. With its unique layout and testing conditions, it is no wonder that it is one of the most prestigious courses in the world.
Betting at Epsom Downs
If you’re planning on betting at Epsom Downs, it’s important to know your stuff. Here are some tips to help you make informed decisions:
Know the Horses and Their Form
Before placing any bets, it’s essential to know the horses and their form. Check out the latest form guides and racecards from At The Races to get a better understanding of each horse’s recent performances.
Understand the Betting Odds
Understanding the betting odds is crucial when it comes to betting at Epsom Downs. You can find the latest betting odds for every horse running at the course on the British Racecourses website. Fractional odds are the preferred format used in the UK for gambling on thoroughbred racing.
Shop Around for the Best Odds
The on-course bookmakers are the heart and soul of the betting experience, but they’re all different and it’s worth shopping around for the best odds on each race. You can usually find them in front of the Duchess’s Stand or by the rails. Over The Derby Festival, bookmakers can be found in every enclosure. You can also check the latest odds on your phone with numerous apps allowing you to bet while at the course.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
The weather can play a significant role in horse racing, and it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast. Wet conditions can affect the performance of some horses, while others may thrive in the mud. The Timeform website provides a detailed guide on how the weather can affect racing at Epsom Downs.
Lastly, it’s important to bet responsibly. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Don’t chase your losses, and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. Remember, gambling should be fun, not a source of stress.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of making informed betting decisions at Epsom Downs. Good luck!
Hospitality and Facilities
Epsom Downs Racecourse offers a range of hospitality services to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxury dining experience or a more casual setting, there’s something for everyone. The Duchess’s Stand is the premier hospitality facility at Epsom Downs, offering stunning views of the racecourse and the surrounding countryside. The facility includes private boxes, restaurants, and bars, all of which provide an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, the Tattenham Straight Marquee is the perfect choice. Located close to Tattenham Corner Station, this facility offers a range of dining options, including a barbecue and a seafood bar. The marquee has its own bar and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink with friends.
Facilities and Accessibility
Epsom Downs Racecourse has state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that your visit is as comfortable as possible. The racecourse has a range of bars and restaurants, as well as betting facilities and a souvenir shop. The course is also fully accessible for disabled visitors, with ramps and lifts available throughout the site.
If you’re driving to the racecourse, there is plenty of parking available. Alternatively, the racecourse is easily accessible by public transport. Tattenham Corner Station is just a short walk from the course, and there are regular trains from London Victoria and London Bridge.
If you’re planning to stay overnight, there are plenty of accommodation options near Epsom Downs Racecourse. Booking.com offers a range of hotels and apartments in the area, catering to all budgets. Some of the most popular hotels near the racecourse include the Premier Inn Epsom Central, the Travelodge Epsom Central, and the Holiday Inn Express London – Epsom Downs. All of these hotels offer comfortable rooms and are conveniently located for the racecourse.
Other UK Racecourses
While Epsom Downs is one of the most famous racecourses in the UK, there are many other great venues to explore. Here are some other racecourses you might want to check out:
- Aintree: Home of the Grand National, one of the most famous horse races in the world.
- Ascot: Known for its royal connections and its famous Royal Ascot meeting.
- Cheltenham: Hosts the Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events in the National Hunt racing calendar.
- Chester: A historic racecourse with a unique circular track.
- Goodwood: Hosts the Glorious Goodwood meeting and is known for its picturesque setting.
- Newmarket: The headquarters of British racing and home to some of the biggest stables in the country.
- York: Hosts the Ebor Festival and is known for its long straight, which provides a great spectacle for racegoers.
Other notable racecourses include Ayr, Bath, Beverley, Brighton, Carlisle, Cartmel, Chelmsford City, Chepstow, Doncaster, Exeter, Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hereford, Hexham, Huntingdon, Kelso, Kempton Park, Leicester, Ludlow, Market Rasen, Musselburgh, Newcastle, Newton Abbot, Nottingham, Perth, Plumpton, Pontefract, Redcar, Ripon, Salisbury, Sedgefield, Southwell, Taunton, Thirsk, Uttoxeter, Warwick, Wetherby, Wincanton, Windsor, Wolverhampton, and Worcester.
Each racecourse has its own unique character and offers a different experience for racegoers. Whether you’re looking for a historic venue, a picturesque setting, or a chance to see some of the best horses and jockeys in the world, there’s sure to be a racecourse that suits your needs.
So why not explore some of the other great racecourses the UK has to offer? You might just discover a new favourite.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the significance of the Duchess Stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse?
The Duchess Stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse is a Grade II listed building that was named after the Duchess of York, who opened the stand in 1929. It is one of the most iconic stands at the racecourse and offers stunning views of the track and the surrounding countryside. The stand has been refurbished several times over the years, most recently in 2009, and now offers modern facilities for racegoers.
What is the history of Epsom Downs Racecourse?
Epsom Downs Racecourse has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. The first recorded race at Epsom was in 1661, and the racecourse has been home to some of the most prestigious races in the world, including The Derby, which was first run in 1780. The course has undergone many changes over the years, including the construction of new stands and facilities, but it has always remained one of the most popular racecourses in the UK.
What is the dress code for the Queen Elizabeth stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse?
The dress code for the Queen Elizabeth stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse is smart casual. Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie, while ladies are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. Racegoers are asked to avoid wearing jeans, trainers, or sportswear. However, it is worth noting that the dress code may vary depending on the event, so it is always best to check the specific requirements before attending.