English Triple Crown

EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 2: Kieren Fallon and Alexandrova leave the field behind them to land The Vodafone Oaks Race run at Epsom Racecourse on June 2, 2006 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

The Epsom Derby is one of five English Classic Races run each year. All five of the British Classics Races are contested by three year old thoroughbred racehorses, however some of the Classics are open only to thoroughbred fillies. Of the five English Classics, three are regarded to be part of a series known as the English Triple Crown.

2,000 Guineas

The 2,000 Guineas is the first British Classic Race of the year and serves as the first leg of the English Triple Crown. The race is run at Newmarket racecourse and is contested by both colts and fillies over the distance of a mile.

1,000 Guineas

The 1,000 Guineas is the second British Classic Race run at Newmarket racecourse and is run over the distance of a mile. The race is the first of two British Classics restricted to thoroughbred fillies.

Epsom Oaks

The Epsom Oaks is the first of two Classics run at the Epsom Downs racecourse. The Epsom Oaks is the second of the two Classics open only to thoroughbred fillies. The race is run over a distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs and 10 yards.

St. Leger Stakes

The St. Leger Stakes is the final Classic of the year and is run at Doncaster racecourse. Open to both colts and fillies, the St Legers Stakes is the longest British Classic and is run over a distance of 1 mile 6 furlongs and 132 yards.

The Triple Crown

Winning a triple crown is the biggest achievement possible in flat racing. In the 150 year history of the English Triple Crown only 15 horses have achieved the remarkable feat of winning the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger Stakes in a single season.

The Triple Crown was last won in 1970 by Nijinsky II.

The most recent attempt at the British Triple Crown was made in 1989 when Nashwan won both the 2,000 guineas and the Epsom Derby, falling at the last hurdle when he was unable to win the St Leger Stakes. In 2007 unbeaten Teofilo was seen as genuine prospect for the Triple Crown, and was given 12-1 odds of achieving this feat before being pulled out of the first race due to injury.