Improving the odds? How to pick the winner of the English Derby

David Marlin, J.M. Williams, T. Parkin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


    Many consider the English Derby on Epsom Downs to be ‘The Blue Riband of the Turf’. The Epsom Derby has been run annually since 1780 and the colt Diomed was the first winner. Today the Epsom Derby, run over 1.5 miles, is one of five classic races and is the second leg of the English Triple Crown, preceded by the 2,000 Guineas and followed by the St Leger. The prize money for 2010 has been in excess of £1.25 million. To the best of our knowledge, whilst epidemiological techniques have previously been applied in an attempt to identify risk factors for injury, the purpose of the present study, which we believe is unique, was to use an epidemiological approach to analyse factors that may be predictive of success (or failure) in a single race over the course of a number of consecutive years: The Epsom Derby. Information on the horses competing in the last 22 runnings of the Epsom Derby between 1988 and 2009. Univariate and multivariable single-level and mixed effects logistic regression models were developed u...
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-62
    Number of pages6
    JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014


    • Thoroughbred
    • epidemiology
    • horseracing
    • performance
    • racehorse


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