One mile, four furlongs and six yards is all the top racehorses have to travel to win The Derby. But the Epsom track is much more complicated than that. It is a true test of the best colts and fillies in racing, and the ultimate prize for owners, trainers and jockeys.
Planet Sport's Jonathan Doidge presents his guide to the biggest race of the Flat season which was first run in 1780...when he was a mere scrap of a lad.
You can have a quick look at the Planet Sport Epsom Derby racecard here.
Where is the Derby?
The Derby is run at Epsom racecourse in Surrey, just a short 30-45 minute train ride from central London.
The true pros catch the quick London train to the rarely used Epsom Downs station, the racecourse is a 20 minute walk from there. It's a 35 minute uphill walk from Epsom's main town train station. Get a taxi if you want to sit in traffic on Derby Day.
Epsom used to be filled with pubs named after Derby winners, but now only The Blenheim (1930 winner) remains. Eclipse (1781), Spread Eagle (1795), The Amato (1838), The Sefton Arms (1878), The Ladas (1894) have all closed in the last couple of decades.
However, you can still get a drink in various horse-related pubs in the area. The Derby Arms, the Rubbing House and the Tattenham Corner all sit close to the track.
The Epsom track has been compared to a rollercoaster in the racing world. A steep climb, followed by a tough descent turn at Tattenham corner and a tricky camber in the home straight.
When is the Epsom Derby?
The race is run on the first Saturday in June, having been moved to a weekend for the first time in 1995.
In 2022, it's on Saturday June 4, with the big race race starting at 16:30.
The Derby forms part of Epsom's Derby Festival, which includes the another Flat Classic The Oaks on Friday as well as the Group 1 Coronation Cup. The meeting also boasts the Group 3 Diomed Stakes, the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, the Woodcote Stakes and the five furlong 'Dash'.
When was The Derby first run?
The Derby was first run in 1780, when it was won by Diomed, after whom a race on Derby Day is still named.
The 16/1 shot Adayar, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Adam Kirby, won the 2021 Derby by four and a half lengths.
Which horses are allowed to run in The Derby?
The Derby is open to three year old colts and fillies only. Geldings may not compete.
However, fillies rarely run and usually go in their own Classic the Oaks on Friday.
Epsom Derby key stats
Fastest winning time: Workforce (2010) set a new course record of 2m 31.3s.
Widest winning margin: In 1981, Shergar won the Derby by 10 lengths.
Biggest priced winners: There have been three 100/1 winners of the great race: Jeddah (1898), Signorinetta (1908), Aboyeur (1913)
Shortest-priced winner: The 1894 winner Ladas did so at odds of just 2/9.
Did you know Derby facts?
In 1913, the King George V's horse Anmer ran into suffragette Emily Davison, who had got onto the race track. She died four days later.
In 1927, the BBC broadcast the race for the first time.
26-time champion jockey Sir Gordon Richards won the race only once, on Pinza, in 1953.
In 1960, the race was first broadcast on television.
In 1996, Alex Greaves became the first female jockey to ride in the ride. She rode Portuguese Lil, finishing last of the 20 runners.
In 2020, the race was run in July due to the Covid-19 lockdown preventing it from taking its usual slot on the calendar.
Epsom legends: Lester Piggott
Lester Piggott will forever by synonymous with the Derby. As a jockey, he rode a record nine winners of the race, spanning four decades.
Piggott's winners were: Never Say Die (1954); Crepello (1957); St Paddy (1960); Sir Ivor (1968); Nijinsky (1970); Roberto (1972); Empery (1976); The Minstrel (1977); Teenoso (1983).
The 86-year-old Piggott died on May 29, 2022 a week before the running of this year's Derby.
Epsom legends: Aidan O'Brien
Irishman Aidan O'Brien has trained the winner of the Derby a record eight times, all in the 21st Century.
O'Brien's winners have been: Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler of the World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings of Eagles (2017), Anthony Van Dyck (2019), Serpentine (2020)
Leading contenders for the 2022 Cazoo Derby
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who was responsible for training the record-breaking previous winners Shergar and Workforce, Desert Crown could not be in better hands as he is prepared for the race.
He has been the bookies' favourite since a comfortable success in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York, a key trial for the Derby. He is unbeaten in two starts.
Desert Crown will break from stall 12, where Serpentine (2020) and Australia (2014) exited, and he'll be ridden by Richard Kingscote who is having just his second ride in the Classic.
Aidan O'Brien trains four of the top six in the 2022 Derby betting and Stone Age (stall 4) is trading the shortest of those.
O'Brien has never been afraid to give his potentially good three-year-olds good experience at two and Stone Age is another such runner.
The son of Galileo didn't manage to win as a juvenile but he was second in both Group 2 and Group 1 company. He has built on that this season winning both his starts, including the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Trading with most firms as third favourite, he is another Aidan O'Brien-trained runner who will arrive at Epsom on the back of successive wins.
He improved on his three juvenile runs when winning on his reappearance at Dundalk, before impressing when he won the Group 3 Chester Vase last time out, on soft ground. He is a very interesting contender and will start from stall 16.
Another O'Brien runner, though this time trained by Aidan's son Donnacha. A son of Ulysses, Piz Badile has made significant improvements with each run.
He's won two of his three races, one of those being the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April. That's a route that more than one previous Derby winner has been down before winning the big one and he has to be taken very seriously.
Two-time Derby winner Frankie Dettori will partner Piz Badile and he will exit stall seven.
Star Of India
Guess what? This one is trained by Aidan O'Brien too, and another who is improving with each run. His latest effort, when winning the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester, comfortably by over two lengths, hinted that he may well outperform his SP on the big day at Epsom.
He'll be starting wide in stall 15.
Top trainers' entries for the 2022 Derby
When it comes to finding the winner of the Derby, the runners provided by the top trainers are always worth noting. Here are the entries from trainers who have previously won the Derby.
Aidan O'Brien (eight wins): Changingoftheguard; Ivy League; Star Of India; Stone Age; United Nations
Charlie Appleby (two wins): Nahanni; Walk Of Stars
Sir Michael Stoute (five wins): Desert Crown
William Haggas (one win): Lysander