Epsom Derby coverage
One of the year’s great sporting occasions will be made even more memorable if Frankie Dettori can win the Epsom Derby at the 15th attempt. The popular pint-size Italian rides Authorized (the biggest Derby favourite in a decade) in Saturday’s race.
But Frankie’s quest is just one of many stories BBC Sport will cover during our two days at Epsom. As well as the top-quality racing - don’t forget Friday’s Oaks – our team will bring you all the atmosphere from one of the biggest race meetings of the year.
Certainly I have very particular memories of Derby Day. The first time I went – back in 2003 - I was overwhelmed by the colour, the grandeur and the sheer number of people. The memories come rushing back - the sea of open top buses and stretch limos in the middle of the course, the track undulating across the Downs and the realisation that I had, by far, the cheapest suit of any of the thousands of spectators who had come to soak up the occasion, as well as the sun.
Frankie’s chase for his first Derby title will be one of several special features which will make up part of our comprehensive coverage. Other features to be aired include:
- Authorized’s trainer, Peter Chapple-Hyam, talks about his chances as he attempts to win the race for the second time (Dr Devious was his first success in 1992).
- Paul Cole (the trainer of Strategic Prince) remembers how Generous gave him a spectacular Derby success back in 1991.
- David Elsworth (the man who trained the great Desert Orchid over the jumps) discusses his chances of winning the Derby for the first time with Salford Mill.
- Ian Bartlett presents a look back at the Derby and the great names that have triumphed in the great race.
On Friday evening (1930, BBC TWO) there is a Derby preview programme which includes the story behind Sir Percy – the 6-1 shot who won last year’s thrilling race by a short head. He was bought by Anthony and Victoria Pakenham for £16,800 – a pittance in the racing world. The show charts his remarkable rise from the Old Suffolk Stud to Derby winner, and also a preview of this year’s race. The programme will be presented by Clare Balding, who’ll also front Friday’s and Saturday’s live coverage, alongside Willie Carson.
Head of BBC TV Sport Editorial, Philip Bernie, said: “This is one of the great annual events and I think our team really bring it to life. Clare and Willie are a fantastic presentation pairing, with their enthusiasm and knowledge.
“Clare is such an authority on the sport, but her presentation style makes her knowledge accessible to all viewers. She is keen to make the public as aware as possible about the intricacies of the sport. And Willie has fantastic pedigree as a jockey. He won the Derby four times and has a great sense of fun.
“Jim McGrath will be leading our commentary team. I’m sure viewers tuning in for the big race will enjoy the panache with which he describes the action. And we want to bring a real flavour and feel of this unique meeting to the viewers, so we’ve got Matt Baker mingling with the crowd on The Hill, with Rishi Persad also heavily involved in bringing the atmosphere to those watching at home.”
Full coverage details
Friday, 1 June
1330-1630 (BBC TWO)
Races at 1340/1410/1445/1525/1605 (The Oaks)
Derby Day Preview
1930-2000 (BBC TWO)
Saturday, 2 June
1205-1705 (BBC ONE)
Races at 1400/1430/1500/1530/1620 (The Derby)
Derby Day highlights
2305-2325 (BBC ONE)
Racing fans will also be able to tune into Radio Five Live to hear all the big races on both days.
Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght will deliver all the news, and commentary will come courtesy of Luke Harvey, John Hunt and Jason Weaver.
On Friday 1 June, Phil Williams presents live from the course from 1300, concluding with the Oaks at 1605.
On Saturday 2 June, Mark Saggers will present a special live question time show from the parade ring from 1215, followed by all the action and the Derby at 1620.
We will be simulcasting BBC TV coverage on our website and will also be showing highlights of the big race of each day in the UK. Interviews from the course will be available worldwide.