EPSOM MANAGING DIRECTOR
The Investec Derby Festival is a legendary sporting occasion, with three world-class feature races, over two days at the unique and welcoming Epsom Downs Racecourse.
The Investec Derby, founded in 1780 and won by many of the most famous horses to grace British turf, has always been a huge attraction and continues to be, with racegoers filling the grandstands and the infield.
This year sees the 236th running of the greatest Flat race in the world, which is the ultimate test for horses and jockeys. Everyone wants to win the Investec Derby, the UK’s most valuable race worth £1,430,000 in prize money, and there is only one chance to do so on Saturday, June 6.
In a year where Derby trials have raised more questions than answers, Golden Horn is set to go off as favourite. The John Gosden colt has not put a foot wrong so far and was very impressive, doing everything that could be expected of a potential Classic winner, when triumphing in the Dante at York. Time will tell whether he can repeat the feat over the extra 2 furlongs with questions being asked of his Stamina over the 1m 4f Investec Derby trip. Golden Horn’s appearance had been in doubt following the Dante as at that point he had not been entered in the Epsom Classic but his owner, Anthony Oppenheimer, has paid the necessary £75,000 to add the colt to the Investec Derby field.
Legatissimo is set to go off favourite in this year’s fascinating running of the Investec Oaks on the Friday. The David Watchman filly bagged the 1000 guineas and is on course for a possible Classic double in the second leg of the fillies triple crown. John Gosden brings Star of Seville and Jazzi top as he bids to win back-to-back renewals of the race after Taghrooda’s victory last year. Aidan O’Brien who has won the Investec Oaks 4 times and holds a strong hand with Diamondsandrubies, Together Forever and Qualify.
French raiders Dolniya and Flintshire, look set to dominate the seven horse field in the Coronation Cup on Saturday afternoon. Favourite, Dolniya, has beaten Flintshire twice already this year including when winning the Sheema classic in Dubai. However, Dual Group One-winner Flintshire was second in the race 12 months ago and will attempt to give trainer Andre Fabre a record-equalling seventh success in the race.
New for this year will be the Derby Cap which is presented to each jockey who has a ride in the 2015 Investec Derby. Thereafter, the Derby Cap will go to jockeys having their debut Investec Derby ride.
There is a later start of 2pm to the racing on both days of the Investec Derby Festival, with the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby remaining as the fifth of the seven races, but with new off times of 4.30pm. The Investec Coronation Cup is run at 3.10pm on the Saturday.
New heroes and stars will make their names during the 2015 festival and we are looking forward to the unfolding drama.