Sunday, 3 May 2015

4th May

For today’s anniversary we go back in time. 235 years to be precise when on May 4th, 1780 the first Epsom Derby took place on the Surrey Downs.

The Derby originated at a party celebrating the running of the first Oaks Stakes race a year earlier. It was decided that a new race would be established and titled after either the party host, namely the 12th Earl of Derby, or Sir Charles Bunbury, one of the guests. According to legend it was decided by the toss of a coin, or though it is probably more likely that Bunbury deferred the honour to his host.

The first running took place on Thursday 4th May 1780 over a mile, when the race was won by the colt Diomed, inexplicably owned by none other than Sir Charles Bunbury. For the victory he won a purse of £1065-15s. It took 7 years before Lord Derby tasted success in the race himself, when his own runner Sir Peter Teazle won the race in 1787. By this time the race had been amended to its current distance of a mile and a half.

Birthdays today include:

Mary Elizabeth McDonough
English comedian and game-show presenter Michael Barrymore (63)

Mary Elizabeth McDonough, best remembered as Erin in TV’s The Waltons (54)

Chelsea and Spain footballer Cesc Fabregas (28)

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