The Epsom Derby is a day at the races steep in history. From old-school celebs like Charles Dickens making his appearance at the much loved funfair back in the 1850s, to suffragette Emily Davison walking on the track in 1913 and becoming martyred beneath the hooves of the King’s horse. Thanks to the coronavirus crisis, it looks like this year will be another moment in history for The Epsom Derby.
It was touch and go, but thankfully the pride and joy of our town is back this weekend, albeit not as we typically know and love it. Not only is it appearing a month later in our social calendars than we’d normally expect, but it’s also being held behind closed doors. That means none of us lot are allowed to attend. We know it’s not ideal, but even though we can’t plonk ourselves somewhere on the Downs surrounded by friends, family and other locals, we are being encouraged to celebrate from our respective homes.
Both the Investec Oaks and the feature of it all, the Investec Derby, will take place on Saturday 4 July. And if you are keen to get involved, the racecourse has launched a downloadable pack to help you get in the mood. The Great British Garden Party features it all. Seriously. There’s a Zoom background to make you feel like you are there, food and drink recipes (The Derby Spritz being our favourite), bunting to help you spruce up the garden and even a Spotify playlist for the all-round after party experience.
The Jockey Club have been working hard to make sure the meeting can go ahead, and they’ll be joined live on Instagram by a bunch of famous faces. From TV personality Rosie Fortescue and team GB Olympian Jazmin Sawyers, to international rugby player Henry Slade and jockey Khadijah Mellah. They’ll be getting involved during the races and even giving away some special prizes.
Talking of special prizes, the racecourse is looking for the best home setups which they’ll be sharing on the day. And you could be in with a chance of winning a private tour around The Jockey Club’s wine partner, Coates and Seely’s vineyard, for up to 12 of your nearest and dearest. You better get going…
So, switch on ITV, download your digital race card and start placing your bets. Coverage begins at 1:30pm, with the Investec Derby taking place at 4:55pm.
Follow along live on Instagram @thejockeyclub