If you’re attending the Epsom Derby Festival 2016 you might like to look out for the following features:
THE DERBY CAP
The Derby Cap is presented to jockeys to mark their debut ride in the Investec Derby.
It was unveiled at the Investec Spring Meeting in 2015, and to celebrate its introduction a presentation to record-breaking nine-time Derby-winning rider Lester Piggott was made.
Piggott first participated in the Classic in 1951 as a 15-year-old aboard Zucchero and his final ride in the final Classic, the 36th, came on Khamaseen in 1994.
Simon Durrant, General Manager of Epsom Downs Racecourse, said: “We want to recognise the momentous occasion in a jockey’s career when they have their first ride in the greatest Flat race in the world.
“Many other sports use caps to commemorate great achievements and landmarks so we felt the introduction of a Derby Cap was an appropriate way for young jockeys to remember this milestone in their careers.”
NATIONAL ANTHEM FROM LOCAL CHOIRS & GURKHAS BAND
Ten choirs from the Epsom & Ewell area will sing the National Anthem, accompanied by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, as Her Majesty The Queen arrives at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Investec Derby Day this year.
South African commentator Rouvaun Smit will swap again with Richard Hoiles this year and be behind the microphone at Epsom Downs for the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Investec), the second race on Saturday 4th June, Investec Derby Day. British commentator Hoiles attended the inaugural Investec Day of Dreams at Kenilworth Racecourse, South Africa on 23rd January and called the Investec Cape Derby and the feature CTS Million Dollar.
DERBY FESTIVAL AMBASSADORS
Frankie Dettori, successful in the 2015 Investec Derby on Golden Horn and Britain’s best loved Flat jockey, is an ambassador again for the Investec Derby Festival.
Golden Horn was the impressive winner of the 236th running of the Investec Derby, Britain’s richest race and premier Classic, at Epsom Downs. (Pictured: Frankie aboard Golden Horn.)
This was his second success in the Investec Derby, with the first coming on Authorized in 2007 at his 15th attempt.
Retained by owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing, the jockey has started 2016 well, partnering Galileo Gold to win the first British Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket on 30th April.
Frankie Vettori commented: “The Investec Derby is the greatest Flat race in the world. It is the one every jockey wants to win, so to have achieved this twice is something I am very proud of.”
Eleanor Tomlinson, the female star of the hugely successful and critically-acclaimed BBC series Poldark, is keen on horseracing.
For her part as ‘Demelza’, the fiery servant who falls in love with Captain Ross Poldark, the actress was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2014.
Born in London, she grew up in Yorkshire and from a young age enjoyed a great affinity to horseracing through her father Malcolm’s role as a racecourse commentator.
Eleanor Tomlinson remarked: “Horseracing has been a huge part of my life and I grew up in the saddle so it is a real honour to be part of one of racing’s most prestigious events.
“I absolutely loved the fashion at the photoshoot and cannot wait to dress up and attend Investec Derby Day on Saturday, 4th June!”
Alex Greaves (Nicholls) made history in 1997 when she rode Ya Malak to victory in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York to become the first female jockey to triumph in a British Group One race.
During a remarkable career, she achieved over 300 winners and was a trailblazer for women in the sport, becoming the first-ever female to ride in two of Britain’s five Classics, the 1,000 Guineas and the Investec Derby in 1996.
She also experienced success abroad, partnering Group winners in both Ireland and Sweden, and retired from race riding in 2005.
Alex Greaves commented: “Female jockeys have come such a long way in the 20 years since I rode in the Derby and I’m sure a woman will win the premier Classic.”
Hayley Turner became the most successful British female jockey ever before retiring from race riding in 2015.
She holds the accolade of being the second woman win a British Group One contest when successful on Dream Ahead in the 2011 July Cup at Newmarket, and gained another Group One victory on Margot Did in the Nunthorpe at York later that same year.
She enjoyed two more landmarks, becoming the first woman to partner 100 British winners in a year (2008) and amassing more victories than any other British female rider – 764 in all.
Media pundit Hayley Turner, who rode in the 2012 Investec Derby, said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the event from the other side this year and celebrating our achievements and those of other influential women in sport on the day.”