Epsom Racecourse

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Key Characteristics

Many consider Epsom’s famous switchback course to be the ultimate test of a thoroughbred. Runners over the Derby and Oaks distance of a mile and a half face a steep uphill climb followed by a demanding turning descent, they turn right then left and, in the home straight have to overcome a pronounced camber and a stiff last furlong to the line. It ought to produce freak results but, as 250 years of history have demonstrated, Epsom invariably identifies the best colts and fillies of their generation.

The sprint courses are downhill and are the fastest in the world. The course overall is one of the sharpest in the country and needs a horse with gears. It is thought that the surface is very similar to polytrack and therefore form  can be transferred between the all weather and Epsom.

Draw Bias & Pace Analysis

When the ground is soft it is a definite advantage to be up against the stand side rail, and to do this you need to be leading coming round Tattenham Corner, therefore for this reason being a front runner is an advantage when the ground is soft at Epsom.

As far as the draw is concerned there are plenty of mixed messages from the stats as the stalls are placed on the straight (5f), down shutes (6&7f) and on slopes (particularly 1m4f).

The five furlongs at Epsom is the fastest five furlongs in the world as they run down a steep hill virtually all the way. There are very few 5 furlong handicaps run on the course so there is little to go on but the stats suggest a slight bias towards being drawn high (nearly 40% of all winners come from the two widest stalls) particularly in a larger field.

The six furlongs at Epsom is run around a left handed bend, however they start on a chute and the turn is nowhere near as severe as the 7 furlong races. This could explain why it appears to be an advantage to be drawn low over 7 furlongs (again though the outside two stalls win 30% of all races), but no real advantage at all to be drawn low over 6 furlongs at Epsom, and in actual fact being drawn high appears to be a bit of an advantage.

ONE draw bias which is very clear from the stats and that is it is really very difficult to win from stall 1 over 1m4f. So if your horse, for the Derby or Oaks, is drawn 1 start tearing your ticket up now.

It is very hard to make all over this 5 furlong course, which is similar to the 5 furlongs at Goodwood.

Over 6 & 7f they race round a sharpish bend, and also have advantageous strips of ground to be on, therefore being at the front gives the jockey the advantage of where on the course to race. This probably explains why front runners are more favoured over these other distances.

Over 1m2f and particularly over 1m4f it is very difficult to front run and win.

In terms of the individual distances, shown below is how Epsom ranks :

5 Furlongs – 22nd out of 31 courses
6 Furlongs – 8th out of 29 courses
7 Furlongs – 3rd out of 24 courses
8 Furlongs – 15th out of 30 courses

Trainers & Jockeys

Trainer Runners Wins Places Prize Money Strike-Rate P/L
M Johnston 77 16 26 £153,266 20.78% -£3.70
R A Fahey 69 7 23 £106,570 10.14% -£6.00
A M Balding 47 7 23 £126,809 14.89% -£9.13
J H M Gosden 30 7 12 £642,940 23.33% -£5.25
Eve Johnson Houghton 29 7 11 £37,519 24.14% -£0.02
M R Channon 34 6 14 £62,499 17.65% -£2.34
R Varian 18 6 8 £328,349 33.33% £4.13
H Morrison 23 6 7 £57,324 26.09% £21.50
G L Moore 46 5 16 £29,464 10.87% -£0.90
J R Boyle 46 5 12 £25,875 10.87% -£17.50


Jockey Runners Wins Places Prize Money Strike-Rate P/L
S De Sousa 94 27 29 £317,129 28.72% £35.49
F Norton 34 9 13 £99,281 26.47% £9.43
Charles Bishop 22 9 9 £44,149 40.91% £7.89
Jim Crowley 50 8 16 £45,221 16% -£25.23
David Probert 30 6 17 £41,218 20% £1.75
Andrea Atzeni 39 6 13 £310,840 15.38% -£17.87
Hector Crouch 34 6 8 £33,992 17.65% £10.67
Oisin Murphy 53 5 24 £86,021 9.43% -£26.63
L Dettori 24 5 13 £632,251 20.83% -£5.80
Harry Bentley 34 5 10 £34,872 14.71% -£11.25
Epsom Racecourse Map


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