Epsom Downs Racecourse Guide

Epsom, UNITED KINGDOM: Italian jockey Frankie Dettori crosses the finish line to win the Vodafone Derby with Irish horse Authorized on the second day of the annual Vodafone Derby horse race at Epsom Downs, Surrey 02 June 2007. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA.The Epsom Downs racecourse is recognised as one of the toughest in British flat racing. The track features an uneven, undulating surface that tests the endurance of even the finest thoroughbreds to the limit. The unique character of the Epsom Downs racecourse makes it an ideal site for training thoroughbreds, and 11 stables currently make use of the facilities available at the racecourse.

Epsom Downs Flat Racing Course

The Epsom Downs flat racing course features an unusual layout. Unlike most racecourses in the United Kingdom the Epsom Downs left-hand-sided racecourse does not allow competitors to run a circuit of the course. The maximum race distance possible on the course is 1 mile 4 furlongs and 10 yards.

Instead, races at the Epsom downs are run over set distances which start at different points of the horseshoe shaped course. Runners in the classics face a tough test as they start the race on an uphill which leads them around the famous Tattenham Corner before plunging them downhill. The final part of the Epsom Derby and Oaks is run uphill, providing a stern test of a horse’s stamina.

One of the great features of the Epsom Downs flat racing course is the 5 furlong straight used to host sprints. The sprint track crosses directly in front of the grandstands and is downhill all the way, making for the fastest sprints in international flat racing – allowing horses to clock speeds of up to 45 miles and hour.

6 furlong races start on an extension of the racecourse before passing Tattenham corner, finishing on the uphill run past the main grandstands. Similarly 7 furlong races start on a separate racetrack extension, follow Tattenham corner before terminating at the finishing post in front of the grandstands following a grueling uphill finish.

The draw has a noted effect at Epsom Racecourse and paying attention a horses starting position in the stalls is crucial when taking part in Epsom Derby betting. High numbers tend to perform well over the 5 furlongs and 6 furlongs, whilst low numbers have a better record over the 7 furlong to 1 mile plus distances.

Another unique features of Epsom Downs Racecourse is that it does not feature a parallel national hunt racing track. The racecourse is closed throughout the winter, when it is used solely for training, whilst in the summer Epsom Downs racecourse hosts only one major flat racing meeting – the Derby Festival.