SOUL OF SPORT: Epsom Derby showed why it's an iconic event

SOUL OF SPORT: Auguste Rodin’s triumph in 244th Epsom Derby showed just why it’s one of the most iconic events in the British sporting calendar… ANDY HOOPER captures all the emotions and drama from the famous racecourse in pictures

  • Every week on a Monday, our Soul of Sport series will take readers behind the scenes at top sporting events
  • Andy Hooper travelled to the iconic Epsom Racecourse on Saturday for this year’s 244th Epsom Derby
  • His photographs capture all facets of the famous day and help to tell the untold stories of the historic event 

Welcome back to the Soul of Sport. For our latest episode of the series, ANDY HOOPER travelled to Epsom Racecourse for the iconic Derby on Saturday.

The 244th running of Britain’s most important Flat race didn’t disappoint as Auguste Rodin showed why Aidan O’Brien’s faith in him was undiminished with the Ryan Moore-ridden 9-2 shot giving the trainer a remarkable record ninth Derby win with a half-length win from King of Steel. 

The excitement, anguish and elation of the race was felt by thousands at the sell-out event, with many more watching from afar in what is no doubt one of the greatest occasions in the British sporting calendar. 

On this year’s Derby Day, our man captured all the build-up, atmosphere and drama – which included 19 arrests made by Surrey Police as animal rights protesters descended on the event.

The action was captured using a Nikon Z9 Camera, and 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses.

The Epsom Derby remains one of the most iconic events in the British sporting calendar and took place on Saturday afternoon

Racegoers study the form ahead of the Derby getting underway as they contemplate who is likely to win the famous Flat race

A very smartly-dressed attendee shows off their lapel, as they prepare to take their spot in the Queen Elizabeth II stand

Dressing smart is a major part of the occasion, with two racegoers showing off their attire including the addition of top hats

However, for others they use it as an opportunity to get into fancy dress, with the above visitor dressing for the occasion

One individual takes it all in at Epsom Racecourse with the Derby attracting attendances of more than 100,000 in the past

There is so much history surrounding the event which has taken place every year since it was inaugurated back in 1780

A packed out crowd enjoy the beautiful weather on the first Saturday of June and start tucking into their picnics for the day

More racegoers enjoy themselves as they pose with Beefeater actors at what is Britain’s richest Flat horse race in the calendar

A patriotic bookmaker shows off his betting stand, with eventual winner Auguste Rodin priced at around 9/2 by the bookies

The aforementioned Beefeaters relax as a long shift where they were heavily in demand finally comes to a conclusion

A statue of legendary late jockey Lester Piggott, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest flat racing jockeys of all time

With the main Derby scheduled for 1:30PM to avoid clashing with the FA Cup final, various acts keep the punters entertained

However, it’s not enough for some as they instead choose to make use of their surroundings to set up a game of football  

A horse statue and yet another racegoer kitted in his finest suit and top hat – with punters dressed to impress on Saturday

The event was marred by attempted protests from animal rights activists, with 19 arrests made in total by Surrey Police

Police and officials were on red alert after similar protests had taken place at sporting events, including the Grand National

The race takes place over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards, which measures at a length of one and half miles

The Ryan Moore-ridden 9-2 shot Auguste Rodin narrowly edged out King of Steel by the small margin of just half a length 

The victory marked jockey Ryan Moore’s third Epsom Derby win and trainer Aidan O’Brien’s record-breaking ninth Derby win

Fans examine the Frankie Dettori mural, with the Italian racing at Epsom for the last time ahead of his impending retirement 

But there was no final dream ride for Dettori as despite a bright start, he eventually finished 10th on the 4-1 favourite Arrest

Racegoers celebrate in the Saturday afternoon sunshine after the Ryan Moore-ridden Auguste Rodin edges home to victory 

Another brightly-dressed lady racegoer twirls for the camera at the finish line kitted out with her matching fascinator

England rugby captain Ellis Genge (centre – white shirt) watches on in anguish as the drama of the race unfolded on Saturday

It was another fantastic Epsom Derby and the 244th time the Derby has taken place, with Auguste Rodin a worthy winner

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