|Epsom Racecourse History|
The earliest evidence of racing on the famous Epsom Downs was on 7th March 1661 at a meeting attended by King Charles II, which Samuel Pepys later confirmed in his diaries. The London Flying Post reported a three day meeting taking place from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th November 1701 when the main contests were a £20 Plate and a Galloway Plate. By 1711 meetings were staged at nearby Banstead with races run over 4 miles, after which the horses were then rubbed down at the Rubbing House. Today a similarly named pub commemorates this process. The Oaks, the fillies Classic, took place on Epsom Downs on 14th May 1779 when won by the Lord Derby owned Bridget. A year later the first Derby Stakes was won by Sir Charles Bunbury’s Diomed, ridden by S. Arnull on 4th May 1780. Every Derby result is accessible using the links below. At Epsom 47 years later, in 1827 William Dorling produced the first racecard complete with runners, riders, betting forecast and colours. On Wednesday 3rd June 1840 Dorling produced a very special silk racecard for Queen Victoria who attended the Derby, witnessing Little Wonder win for owner Mr D Robertson. She never attended the Derby again, famously claiming it was because she was not served bread and butter with her meal. In 1872 the Derby was run on the present day course for the first time and resulted in a triumph for Mr Savile's Cremorne, ridden by Maidment and trained by Gilbert. In 1896 Persimmon provided a Royal victory in the Derby, winning for the Prince of Wales; he won it for a second time with Diamond Jubilee in 1900, and completed the treble in 1907 as King Edward VII, when H.Jones rode Minoru to win the Derby. One of the most famous and controversial events in Epsom’s history occurred in 1913 when Emily Davison was killed as she ran out in front of the Kings horse. Epsom was used for the war effort between 1915 and 1918, causing the Derby to be transferred to Newmarket. Between 1940 and 1945 the same situation occurred again when the Derby was staged at Newmarket for 6 years. The Willie Carson ridden Troy won the 200th Derby in 1979 when trained by Major Dick Hern. The future of Epsom was secured in 1984 after it was purchased with the help of Lord Wigg. Currently the course offers 10 fixtues annually.
Epsom Oaks 1779
|Epsom continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Hampton closed its gates for the final time in 1887.|
Hampton races began in 1814 and were situated at Molesey Hurst, then in Middlesex. The inaugural two day meeting took place on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th July 1814, opening with the Clarence Cup which was won by Mr Ball’s Emily. The racecourse was a flat, oval course with a circumference of 12 furlongs, and there was a sprint course of 4 furlongs joining the main course, which was used for longer races on the Surrey, Middlesex and Queens Plate courses. Races were held regularly twice a year, with the mid-Summer meeting dubbed the Cockney Derby. In the Sporting Magazine of 1846 their view of Hampton Races was, “Nobody ever dreams of going to Moulsey Hurst with a view to good racing”. Hampton racecourse closed on Wednesday 15th June 1887 and was replaced by the more permanent course at Hurst Park which opened on 19th March 1890.
Tuesday 26th July 1814
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.|
An incredibly rare racecard from the 1847 Derby at Epsom
1847 Epsom Derby
|This page provides the opportunity to research every Epsom Derby since its inception. Just click on the date of the year you require.|
|1951 Ladies||1952 Gents||1953 Ladies||1953 Gents||1953 Derby Day|
|1954 Gents||1955 Gents||1956 Ladies||1957 Gents||1958 Gents|
'Saddling' is by John Frederick Herring Snr 1876 and was reproduced in a set of 4 prints by Martell Cognac Co to celebrate the Derby. It is shown courtesy of Brenda Rooney from her print collection.
|1958 Ladies||1959 Gents||1959 Ladies||1960 Gents||1961 Ladies|
|1961 Gents||1962 Ladies||1962 Gents||1963 Ladies||1964 Gents|
The Oaks is by John Frederick Herring Snr 1876 and was reproduced in a set of 4 prints by Martell Cognac Co to celebrate the great fillies classic. It is shown courtesy of Brenda Rooney from her print collection.
|1965 Gents||1966 Gents||1967 Gents||1968 Gents||1969 Gents|
|1970 Gents||1971 Gents||1972 Gents||1973 Gents||1973 Ladies|
|1974 Ladies||1974 Gents||1975 Ladies||1975 Gents||1976 Ladies|
|1976 Gents||1977 Ladies||1977 Gents||1978 Ladies||1978 Gents|
|1979 Gents||1980 Gents||1981 Gents||1982 Ladies||1982 Gents|
|1983 Gents||1984 Gents||1985 Gents||1986 Gents||1987 Gents|
|1988 Gents||1989 Gents||1990 Gents||1991 Gents||1991 Junior|
|1992 Gents||1992 Classic Club||1993 Queen's Stand||1994 Queen's Stand||1995 Queen's Stand|
|1996 Queen's Stand||1997 Queen's Stand||1997 Derby||1997 Classic Club||1998 Queen's Stand|
|1998 Classic Club||1998 Moet & Chandon||1998 Derby||1999 Queen's Stand||1999 Derby|
|2000 Gents||2001 Junior||2001 Gents||2002 Gents||2002 Derby|
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
|2003 Gents||2004 Gents|
|2004 Derby||2005 Gents|
|2005 Derby||2006 Derby|
|2006 Gents||2007 Gents|
|2008 Derby||2009 Gents||2010 Gents||2011 Gents||2013 Gents|
774 former courses
400 former courses
140 former courses
235 former courses
|Copies of the above books are only available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.|