Talking Horses: Debate over switching Derby back to a Wednesday is over

In the early 1990s, Derby day was visibly dying from one year to the next and the switch to Saturday gave it a huge boost and opened up the race to new potential audiences

As soon as Lucas Moura scored his winning goal in Amsterdam last month, it was obvious that this year’s Derby was going to have even more of a struggle than usual to grab the attention of the British sporting public. What with the big match in Madrid, the Cricket World Cup, a Brit in a heavyweight title fight and England women’s last warmup before the World Cup, Flat racing’s most famous race had a lot to contend with both before and after the event.

Inevitably, there were calls last week for Epsom, and racing as a whole, to have a serious think about moving back to a Wednesday Derby, a quarter of a century after the switch to Saturday. With equal inevitability, nothing will come of it – not this side of the end of Investec’s current sponsorship deal, at any rate, and that runs until 2026.

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