The 2022 Derby Festival takes place on Friday 3rd (Ladies’ Day) and Saturday 4th June (Epsom Derby) and this year coincides with a whole extended bank holiday weekend of events being held to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
Her Majesty is expected to be attending in person and organisers at Epsom Downs racecourse have planned for months to ensure the Festival forms a central part of the weekend’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It’s already been announced that The Queen’s Stand is being permanently renamed The Queen Elizbeth II Stand in her honour and there’ll be other tributes and honouring of Her Majesty on the day.
The Queen is famously not just a keen racing fan but also the proud owner of several racehorses but sadly any hopes she had of winning the Derby – which is the only one of the five-horse racing Classics she’s never previously triumphed in – on her special weekend were scuppered after her contenders had to be withdrawn from the race.
How To Watch
Her Majesty is Patron of The Jockey Club and the organisation is helping racing fans mark the Jubilee weekend celebrations with a range of ticket and hospitality packages starting from as little as £25. All packages are available to buy from its official website.
A full capacity crowd of 35,000 spectators is expected in the racecourse’s ticketed enclosures, with tens of thousands more racing fans expected to gather in the free spaces on what is known locally as The Hill.
For those opting to follow from the comfort of their own home, the race will be covered by ITV whose racing team, led by Ed Chamberlin, will be on hand throughout the day to guide viewers through all the action.
ITV’s coverage will be available to watch subscription free on all major TV platforms including Freeview, Virgin Media, Sky, and YouView.
Coverage will also be available to stream through the ITV Hub app which offers the broadcaster’s live channels alongside its catch-up coverage and is available as a free download for mobile phones and tablets plus smart TV’s and streaming sticks and boxes such as Amazon’s Fire TV range and the Apple TV set top box.
There’s some related good news for organisers and attendees of community events marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee who don’t want to miss the racecourse action (or other festivities).
Normally a TV licence is needed to show live programmes at public gatherings but the BBC, which is responsible for collecting the licence fee, has relaxed the rules so that anyone arranging events in their local streets and venues such as town halls and community centres during the bank holiday weekend can screen live programmes – including the weekend’s races – as part of their events without needing to purchase a licence.
The special dispensation is in force for the entire extended bank holiday weekend (Thursday June 2nd – Sunday June 5th)
Horse racing has long been a big driver of betting in the UK with around £4bn wagered on the sport each year as both casual and expert race fans look to share in the hoped-for success of their chosen runner.
This year is likely to be no different and all major high street and online bookmakers are already offering Epsom Derby and Oaks betting odds and deals, including bonuses. Don’t forget, as well as the various operators’ own sites, there’s a large number of professionally run comparison and review sites available to help you find the best place for your wager.
The Epsom Derby is just one of thousands of events being held across the UK to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Other highlights include The Queen’s Birthday Parade on June 2nd, which will see more than 1,400 soldiers and 400 musicians parade through central London followed by an RAF fly-past and the traditional gathering on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
There’s also the Platinum Party at the Palace on June 4th which promises to bring together “the world’s biggest entertainers to perform in front of Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace”.
Both events will be screened on BBC One and iPlayer.