Epsom Downs Racecourse will welcome tens of thousands of people for the two-day Investec Derby Festival on June 2 and 3.

We have spoken to some of the team behind the scenes who make the event happen.

In the first in the series we hear from the stable manager Dominic Toole on keeping the stable area relaxed, choosing the right horse bedding and nervous stable staff.

How long have you worked at Epsom racecourse?

Three years, but I have worked in the racing industry in Epsom for the last 25 years.

What does your day entail?

I start at 8am. Most days in the summer I will be preparing the stables and yard ready for racing, including mucking out and bedding up the boxes, hedge cutting, cutting the grass and general maintenance. My day finishes at 5pm.

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How does your role differ over the two days of the Derby Festival from your day-to-day job?

Over the two days my job changes from being hands-on to more logistical, with having to make sure all horses running have a stable and the staff travelling with the horses have accommodation. I have to make sure everybody is happy.

Epsom Guardian: Horses being cooled off

What is your highlight of the Derby Festival?

Definitely when the stable staff start arriving and bringing their horses into the yard ready to race.

They have spent the last year or so getting the horses ready and by this point all the waiting is over and the nerves start kicking in.

For the winners it's celebration time and for the rest it's onto hoping their horse wins in the next race.

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Now the Derby Festival is around the corner how does this affect you?

I won't do anything different in the yard before race day as I try to keep a high standard all year round.

It is the logistics that get more complicated with the Derby Festival, for example I have to check if we have horses coming in from abroad and if so when they are arriving, how many staff are coming with the horse and even what bedding would they want the horse to have!

Then there are last-minute checks just in case there's a problem we need to rectify quickly.

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What is different about the Derby Festival compared to other meetings at Epsom Downs?

There are lots more people around the stable area and of course an amazing atmosphere with everyone talking about who's going to win.

Having said that, it stays reasonably quiet down in the stables as the staff like to keep their horses as relaxed as possible.

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And finally who will you be putting your money on in this year’s Derby?

I'd have a small each-way bet on Best Of Days. He really impressed me when winning last year and if he doesn't run it will be an Aidan O’Brien horse.

In the Oaks I'd have an each-way bet on Horseplay, who won nicely at Newmarket last time out.

Tickets are still available for both days of the festival, visit epsomderby.co.uk