Epsom Downs

This flat racetrack is so named due to some sections of it being part of the North Downs hills that extend from Surrey to Kent. It is located in the market town of Epsom in Surrey County, about 14 miles South West of the capital London. It is owned and operated by the Jockey Club Racecourses, and is widely known as the home to The Epsom Derby race.

History

Relative documents show the track to have been in existence in the first quarter of the 17th Century, tough the officially documented inaugural race was in 1661. It has always been a flat course, but has undergone many adjustments over the years both on the track and the viewing areas. The most recent upgrade was the 2009 Duchess Stand, which accommodates 11,000 patrons and is estimated to have cost around £23.5 million.

Course

The track is all flat, but is a good challenge for young inexperienced horses who are just setting out in their careers. It also serves as a stamina-building course for experienced horses seeking a return to their best. Both purposes are properly suited since the Epsom-extending all the way to Langley vale- is also home to 11 training camps. (the third largest training base in England)

Races

The Derby, a Group 1 race for three-year-old horses, descends on the Epsom Downss every first Saturday of June as competitors chase the best share of a purse worth over a million pounds. So common has this race become at the Downs, it is now widely regarded as the Epsom Derby.

The derby is run on a distance of 2423 meters, and is arguably the most watched race in England. The Oaks and The Coronation Cup are also held here on some occasions.

Part of the popularity of Epsom races arises from the course being in a public area, which makes watching races in the 130,000 capacity course free.

Eclipse from the late 1760s is probably the oldest of great horses to have trotted The Epson, where he remained unbeaten in an entire career.

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