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Epsom Derby: Biggest shocks

First held in 1780, the Epsom Derby has a rich history and is hailed as Britain's premier Classic race.

The famous mile-and-a-half contest is the acid test for the three-year-old crop and it has been won by some of the best horses in the business.

Every race from Epsom Derby Festival across Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June can be viewed via the bet365 live sports streaming service and here we are looking at some of the biggest Derby shocks of the past.

Aboyeur – 1913 

SP – 100/1

On three occasions the Epsom Derby has gone to a 100/1 poke in the betting, with the most recent of those coming all the way back in 1913.

Incredibly, that was the third time in 15 years that it had happened, with Aboyeur for trainer Tom Lewis and jockey Edwin Piper matching the feats of Jeddah (1898) and Signorinetta (1908).

Aboyeur raced seven times in his career, winning twice, and his success at Epsom was far the most taking in his lifetime. A messy finish to the race saw 6/4 favourite Craganour pass the post in first marginally ahead of a wall of horses spearheaded by Aboyeur, who had made much of the running.

The Stewards disqualified Craganour on the grounds that he had failed to keep a straight course late on, seeing Aboyeur declared the winner. He was rated one of the poorest horses to win the Derby in the 20th century and was sold soon after to the Russian Government and disappeared during the Revolution.

Snow Knight – 1974

SP – 50/1

Snow Knight enjoyed a remarkable career that included winning the 1974 Derby and then earning an Eclipse Award as the American Champion Male Turf Horse a year later.

He was trained in Britain by Peter Nelson and was sent off a 50/1 chance in the Epsom Classic after finishing second in the Classic Trial Stakes at Sandown and then third in the Derby Trial at Lingfield.

The chestnut was known to be somewhat temperamental and he threw jockey Brian Taylor off his back in the parade ring before displaying an immense unwillingness to enter the starting stalls at Epsom.

Once he came out the other side, however, he was a model pro, holding a position in midfield before making his challenge as the field rounded Tattenham Corner and he duly won by two-lengths.

Wings Of Eagles – 2017

SP – 40/1

Aidan O'Brien has won the Epsom Derby more than any other trainer but even the Irishman would have struggled to see Wings Of Eagles coming home in front in 2017.

Despite being sired by Derby winner Pour Moi and owned by Coolmore, Wings Of Eagles achieved only a one-mile Killarney maiden victory as a two-year-old in 2016, being well beaten afterwards in Listed/Group 1 company.

He was second in the Chester Vase on his comeback in May 2017 and went from there to Epsom, where he started as a 40/1 chance – the second-biggest SP of the six-strong Ballydoyle contingent that year.

Market leaders Cracksman and Cliffs Of Moher, under Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore respectively, came from off the pace to challenge after the final bend but so, too, did Wings Of Eagles and Padraig Beggy's colt flashed by them late on for a famous win – at the time the sixth in the race for O'Brien.

Serpentine – 2020

SP – 25/1

The Irish trainer would taste success again in 2020 when The Derby was uniquely run in July.

Having won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, Kameko went off favourite for Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy but he would manage only fourth. Serpentine, winner of a maiden at the Curragh a week before Epsom, was the mount of Emmet McNamara and they made all in The Derby.

Balding's Khalifa Sat at 50/1 was second with 66/1 chance Amhran Na Bhfiann third, also for the O'Brien team.

Having poached an early lead, McNamara admits it was a surreal run around an empty Epsom in what was his first Derby.

"Surreal empty stands and I did not hear a sound from behind me all race," said McNamara. "All I heard was the horse breathing. I got a little bit of a freebie [in front]."

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