What's in a name? How the Derby could have been the Bunbury

    Story highlights

    • Epsom Derby 2017 takes place on June 3
    • This is 238th edition of race

    (CNN)It is the richest horse race in Britain and spawned a host of equivalents around the world, but the original Derby only received its name on the toss of a coin.

    One more flip could have given rise to the Epsom Bunbury, the Kentucky Bunbury, the Irish Bunbury and so on.
      The tale goes that during the celebrations following the inaugural running of the Oaks Stakes at Epsom in 1779, a new race was proposed.
        It would be named after the party's host, the 12th Earl of Derby, or one of the guests, Sir Charles Bunbury, depending on the toss.
        Derby, whether by luck or subsequent negotiation, won the naming rights.
        The first race, open to three-year-old colts and run over a mile (it's now one mile, four furlongs, roughly 2.4 kilometers) was held over the downs at Epsom, to the south of London, the following year and was won by Diomed, a colt owned by Bunbury.
        Derby Day began as a Londoners' day out, where top-hat-and tail-wearing aristocrats mix with artisans of every persuasion.
        It's now the blue riband of British racing and a global sporting and cultural