The Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs
traditionally marks the start of Britain’s summer horse racing season. From
another perspective, it also marks the start of the summer sports betting season.
Many of Britain’s top horses will be on show during the two-day Investec Derby festival at Epsom in Surrey, just a couple of miles from Greater London. Friday May 31 is Investec Ladies’ Day, featuring The Oaks. Saturday June 1 is Investec Derby Day, featuring the original Derby after which all other derbies around the world are named.
Epsom Stands for Horse Racing History
The Oaks and The Derby are two of the five UK classics
of the horse racing calendar, alongside the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, 1,000 Guineas Stakes, and St. Leger Stakes. The classics are horse races run over flat ground, without jumps. Each race is restricted to three-year-old horses, while The Oaks (and 2,000 Guineas) are restricted to fillies only. Over the centuries, these races have featured some of the biggest names in horse racing.
The Oaks has been run over a distance of 1 mile, 4
furlongs, and 6 yards at Epsom since way back in 1779. Aidan O’Brien-trained
Forever Together stormed home to win at 6/1 odds last year. The Derby is
regarded as the most important flat race in the British racing calendar, with a
total purse of around $1.9 million. Run over 1 1/2 miles, it was won last year
by Charlie Appleby-trained Masar at 16/1.
Guide to The Best Epsom Oaks Betting Odds
All the top online bookmakers have released Epsom Oaks
odds for dozens of horses, although the field will be narrowed down closer to
the bid day. The early Oaks favourite is Mehdaayih, trained by John Gosden.
She’s paying 11/4 at bet365 and 3/1 at both Paddy Power and William Hill. She’s
won twice from four flat runs, and is on a three-race winning streak stretching
back to October next year.
Many of the top bookies let their customers live stream horse racing, including the Epsom Oaks. On May 31, Mehdaayih’s main challengers will be Pink Dogwood, paying 4/1 at bet365, as well as Hermosa, 7/1, Maqsad, 8/1, and Anapurna, 8/1. A host of other fillies are paying in the range of 10/1 to 20/1. One to watch is Just Wonderful, who’s paying 16/1. She had a good run in the Guineas, finishing sixth, two-and-a-half lengths behind Hermosa. She’s trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has won the Epsom Oaks seven times.
Guide to The Best Epsom Derby Betting Odds
O’Brien will get another shot at glory the following
day with Epsom Derby favourite Sir Dragonet. The Irish colt has firmed to 3/1
in the weeks since demolishing his rivals over 1 mile, 4 ½ furlongs at Chester
on May 8. His nearest competition is Too Darn Hot, at 4/1. Other contenders are
Broome, who’s paying 6/1 at bet365, Japan, 7/1, and Anthony Van Dyck, ranging
from 5/1 at Paddy Power to 8/1 at bet365.
One of the outsiders to watch for is Madhmoon, the
Kevin Prendergast-trained colt that ran fourth in the 1,000 Guineas at
Newmarket on May 4. He had a couple of wins over one mile in 2018 and has
finished second and fourth in his only two races this year. The track at Epsom
could suit Madhmoon more than some of those other courses, and his medium odds
show that he’s a genuine race contender in any case.