Derby (horse race)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The start of the 2009 Hong Kong Derby.

A derby (UK: /ˈdɑːrbi/ DAR-bee, US: /ˈdɜːrbi/ DUR-bee) is a type of horse race named after the Derby Stakes run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in England.[1] That was in turn named after Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, who inaugurated the race in 1780.[2] Perhaps the best-known example after the original is the Kentucky Derby in the United States.[3][4]

Traditionally, the term "derby" is used strictly to refer to races restricted to three-year-olds,[citation needed] as the English and U.S. Triple Crown races all are. The most notable exceptions to this rule are the Hong Kong Derby and Singapore Derby, restricted to four-year-old Thoroughbreds, and the Canadian Pacing Derby, an annual harness race for "aged pacers" (Standardbreds) four years old and up.[citation needed]

In Scandinavian harness racing Derby is restricted to four-year-olds. Exception is the Finnhorse Derby, which is restricted to five-year-olds.

Name Place Distance Restrictions First
Day Notes
American Derby Arlington Park, Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA[t 1] 1 3/16 miles[t 2] 1884[5]
Australian Derby (also known as AJC Derby) Randwick Racecourse, Sydney 2,400 metres 3 yr olds 1861 Late March or early April
Bangalore Derby[6] 2,400 metres 4 yr olds & up
Epsom Derby (also known as The Derby, Derby Stakes and the English Derby) Epsom Downs Racecourse, England 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards 3 yr olds colts and fillies 1780 1st Saturday in June[t 3]
French Derby (more often known as Prix du Jockey Club) Chantilly Racecourse 2,100 metres (about 1 mile and 2½ furlongs) 3 yr olds colts and fillies 1836 Early June
German Derby (Deutsches Derby) Horner Rennbahn, Hamburg 2,400 metres (about 1½ miles) 3 yr olds colts and fillies 1869 Early July
Hong Kong Derby Sha Tin Racecourse 2,000 metres 4 yr olds 1873 mid March
Hungarian Derby (Magyar Derby) Kincsem Park, Budapest 2,400 metres 3 yr olds 1921 Early July
Italian Derby (Derby Italiano) Capannelle Racecourse 2200 1884
Indian Derby Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 2,400 metres 4 yr olds 1943 1st Sunday in Feb.
Irish Derby The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland 1½ miles 3 yr olds 1866 Last Sunday in June[t 4]
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, USA 1¼ miles 3 yr olds 1875 1st Saturday in May
New Zealand Derby Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland 2,400 metres (12 furlongs) 3yr olds 1860 1st Saturday in March
Queensland Derby Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane 2400 metres (12 furlongs) 3yr olds 1868 June
Singapore Derby Kranji Racecourse 2,000 metres 4 yr olds 1880 Mid July
Swedish Trotting Derby (Svenskt Travderby) Jägersro Racetrack, Malmö 2,640 metres (1,64 miles) 4yr olds 1928 1st Sunday in September
Tokyo Yushun
Japanese Derby
Tokyo Racecourse 2,400 metres 3 yr olds colts and fillies 1932 late May or Early June Currently the richest Derby.
Victoria Derby Flemington Racecourse 2,500 metres 3 yr olds 1855
WATC Derby Ascot Racecourse, Perth 2,400 metres 3yr olds 1888 New Years Day or nearby Saturday
  1. ^ Location has varied
  2. ^ Distance has varied
  3. ^ Before 1995, 1st Wednesday in June
  4. ^ Current race date. Dates have varied over time, but have always been in late June or early July.


  1. ^ Reeves 1997, p.134.
  2. ^ Vesey 2003, p. 135.
  3. ^ Freeman 1997, p. 68.
  4. ^ Schreifer & Sivell 1996.
  5. ^ Only run once between 1905 and 1925.
  6. ^ Sun Kingdom wins Bangalore Derby Retrieved 2011-2-6


  • Ashok, Kalyan (11 July 2010), "Derby getting bigger and better", The Hindu
  • Freeman, Morton S. (1997), A new dictionary of eponyms (Illustrated ed.), Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-509354-2
  • Reeves, Richard Stone (1997), Crown jewels of thoroughbred racing: original paintings (Illustrated ed.), Eclipse Press, ISBN 0-939049-90-2
  • Schreifer, Kirk; Sivell, John (1996), America From Apple Pie To Ziegfeld Follies Book One: People, 1 (Illustrated ed.), Full Blast Productions, ISBN 1-895451-17-5
  • Vesey, Barbara (2003), The Hidden Places of East Anglia: Including Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire (7 ed.), Travel Publishing, ISBN 1-902007-91-3