(CNN)Billed as Britain’s richest race, the Epsom Derby is the stand-out fixture on the social and sporting calendar.
And at this year’s illustrious race, which invites the very best three-year-olds in thoroughbred racing to take one shot at winning, history could be made. Acclaimed trainer Aidan O’Brien, described as a “genius” earlier this month when he became the first trainer in nearly 200 years to win the 2,000 Guineas three times in a row, is aiming to saddle a record-equaling seventh winner of the race.Follow @cnnsport The 13 runners and riders are now confirmed for Saturday’s showpiece spectacle, which is run over a mile-and-a-half and carries a prize fund of at least $1.9 million, with the winner claiming just north of $1 million. Held at Epsom Downs Racecourse every year since 1780, save from the World War years, the race is a rare test in terms of both speed and stamina. Read More”It is the ultimate test of the three-year-old thoroughbred,” Phil White, regional director of Jockey Club racecourses, told CNN Sport’s Winning Post in 2018. “That’s due to the undulations of the ground, and the course itself is unbelievably challenging.”The tough course features a long uphill drag out of the starting gates, a left-hand bend, a downhill gallop into the straight before a lung-busting uphill finish. Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesMeydan Racecourse, Dubai – Boasting the world’s first five-star trackside hotel, restaurants and a museum, Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse is a first-class racing destination.Hide Caption 1 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesSt. Moritz, Switzerland – St. Moritz is known for world-class skiing, glitz, glamor and…horse racing? The venue for the White Turf event, held three days a year, isn’t your typical racecourse. Instead, it’s held on a frozen lake.Hide Caption 2 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesFlemington Racecourse, Australia – Flemington is Australia’s oldest metropolitan racecourse and home to the famous Melbourne Cup. The revamped venue was first used in 1840 when the town of Melbourne was just five years old. Hide Caption 3 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesPiazza del Campo, Italy – Simply put, there is no racecourse in the world quite like the Piazza del Campo in Italy. Its origins date back to medieval times when jockeys rode buffalo. The piazza is packed with spectators with racing around the outside.Hide Caption 4 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesHappy Valley, Hong Kong – Happy Valley Racecourse was built in 1845 to provide horse racing for expat Britons living in Hong Kong. It’s surrounded by giant apartments and skyscrapers — giving visitors an unusually beautiful scenic view.Hide Caption 5 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesAscot, England – Just the name “Ascot” conjures visions of royalty, elegance, high fashion and world-class racing. The racecourse was opened in 1711 by Queen Anne, and Royal Ascot is still one of the most celebrated meetings on the calendar.Hide Caption 6 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesChantilly, France – Spectacular and timeless, historic Chantilly sits in front of the 16th-century Chateau de Chantilly and the majestic Great Stables (pictured) amid forests 30 miles north of Paris.Hide Caption 7 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesLaytown Races, Ireland – Laytown Races is the only official beach race in Europe. Situated on the Irish coast, the 150-year-old tradition attracts more than 5000 regular visitors every year. Horses race along the sands on a makeshift course. Hide Caption 8 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesGoodwood Racecourse, England – The rolling Sussex countryside unfolds in front of one of the most iconic venues in flat racing. Goodwood has hosted racing since 1802 and offers the perfect setting for the famous Glorious Goodwood meeting. Hide Caption 9 of 10 Photos: 10 of the most picturesque racecoursesCheltenham Racecourse, England – Cheltenham is a shrine to jump racing against the idyllic backdrop of the Cotswold hills. It hosts the prestigious Cheltenham Festival every March, the highlight of the world’s jump racing calendar. Hide Caption 10 of 10READ: Why the Guineas, Oaks, Derby and St. Leger are known as the ClassicsREAD: How horses became ‘therapy’ for woman struggling with mental healthClass of 2019O’Brien will have seven horses lining up at the post with Sir Dragonet expected to perform best. If his prized asset doesn’t provide the goods, the Irishman can fall back on one of Broome, Anthony Van Dyck, Japan, Circus Maximus, Norway or Sovereign.O’Brien has had six Derby winners during his stellar career and needs one more to join Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling as the race’s winning most trainer. He will face tough competition on Saturday though, with the Hughie Morrison-trained Telecaster amongst the favorites after his late entrance into the race.READ: Record breaking Winx secures 33rd consecutive victory in final raceSir Dragonet is one of the favourites for this year’s Derby. However, both Telecaster and Sir Dragonet will start the race out wide, breaking from stall two and eleven respectively, which often hampers a horse’s chances in the Derby. Iconic flat jockey Frankie Dettori will also ride O’Brien’s Circus Maximus, looking for his third career victory in the illustrious race. Elsewhere, trainer Charlie Appleby is looking for back-to-back Derby wins after watching Masar storm to victory in 2018 — Godolphin’s first victory in the race. He has Line Of Duty lining up in stall one this year. Completing the field is British prospect Bangkok and outside bets Hiroshima, Humanitarian and Madhmoon.JUST WATCHEDInside the ‘most exciting 2 minutes in sports’ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Inside the ‘most exciting 2 minutes in sports’ 01:53Cultural symbolAs well as a blue ribbon in the sporting calendar, the Derby is also one of Britain’s most iconic cultural events.Since its inception, it has attracted both the upper echelons of English aristocracy — the Queen herself has only missed two runnings since 1946 — along with huge crowds made up of every level of society for a colorful day out on the Downs.The Derby’s long history features the 1913 edition, dubbed the “Suffragette Derby,” when women’s rights campaigner Emily Davidson threw herself under the thundering hooves of King George V’s horse Anmer and died four days later.