Derby Stays Where It Belongs

July or August looks likely time

The Derby appears set to stay at Epsom this year, assuming that horseracing is allowed to resume at some point, following a vote by local officials on Tuesday evening.

The Epsom and Walton Downs Conservators, which manages the racecourse site under an act of parliament, voted unanimously to allow Epsom Downs to be fenced off for one day to allow both the Derby and the Oaks to be staged behind closed doors.

The Guardian report that the Conservators, an eight-person body made up of five local councillors and three racecourse officials, also voted for significant flexibility over the date on which the two Classics will be held, agreeing to “some time in July or August this year”.

Simon Durrant, who manages Epsom racecourse for the Jockey Club, said flexibility was necessary because of the uncertainty over when the government will allow racing to start again.

The Jockey Club was confident of a supportive vote, having secured the approval of Surrey police for a plan to place fencing around the Downs.

The fences will be covered from top to bottom with Jockey Club signs as a means of discouraging spectators from gathering outside. Durrant said: “The message to our local residents will be that you can really support the Derby of 2020 by staying at home and watching it on television in the comfort of your home.”

He promised that the Jockey Club would “create a safe and secure zone” in which the races could be run.

  • The Guardian

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