Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

The Derby: £25 Million Gamble – Bookies In Fear Of Frankie Factor

Bookmakers William Hill are on high alert as Frankie Dettori prepares to ride the Derby favourite, Golden Horn, on Saturday afternoon.


Frankie Dettori is the man that bookies fear above all others and is infamous as the man who singlehandedly cost William Hill over £8million - and the industry over £40m - when he rode his unique ‘Magnificent Seven’(winning all seven televised races at an important Ascot meeting) in September 1996 at accumulative odds of over 25,000/1.


“Frankie Dettori is the one jockey who everyone knows, as we have found out to our peril,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke. “The Derby is the biggest flat race of the year and if Frankie guides the favourite home, the industry will be paying out tens of millions.”


William Hill expect turnover to exceed £4.5million on the Derby - if you made a trail in £5 notes the cash would stretch over 75 miles, or 50 times the distance of the race.


An estimated £25million will be wagered on the race across the industry, with more than 350,000 bets placed with William Hill alone.


William Hill’s best result in recent years was in 2011 when The Queen’s horse Carlton House went off the well-backed favourite but narrowly missed out finishing third.


Company founder, William Hill, will forever be associated with The Derby, as he bred the 1949 winner, Nimbus, with the result decided for the first time using a photo-finish.


This year, 12 horses look set to line-up for the 236th running of The Derby, with the race getting underway at 4.30pm on Saturday. Crowds of more than 130,000 are expected to attend the course at Epsom and many more will tune in around the world, with an estimated 3 million viewers in the UK, with the race broadcast live on Channel 4 and Racing UK.



Investec Derby: 6-4 Golden Horn, 9-2 Jack Hobbs, 6-1 Giovanni Canaletto, 13-2 Elm Park, 12-1 Hans Holbein, 14-1 Success Days, 16-1 Epicuris, Kilimanjaro, Storm The Stars, 40-1 Moheet, 66-1 Rogue Runner, 250-1 Carbon Dating, (Each Way Terms: ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)



Only two women have ever ridden in the Derby: the first was Alex Greaves in 1996 on Portuguese Lil and Hayley Turner became the second in 2012 when she partnered Cavaleiro. Both horses finished last.


The Derby has been run at Epsom since 1780, although during World War I & World War II, the race was switched to Newmarket. The contest gets its name from the 12th Earl of Derby, who according to legend won a coin toss with Sir Charles Bunbury to decide who the race should be named after. The inaugural running was won by Diomed, a colt owned by Bunbury.