Derby to stay at Epsom this year after approval granted for Jockey Club plans

Application was made to stage on Derby and Oaks on same day behind closed doors.

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The Investec Derby is set to stay at its traditional Epsom home this year after local councillors on Tuesday unanimously approved an application to stage the Classic behind closed doors on a Saturday date in July or August.

Jockey Club Racecourses had submitted an application concerning permission to hold the Derby and Oaks on the same day as part of a seven-race card, along with restricting access to the site.

While the Downs are owned by Epsom, there are public footpaths and bridleways and the application asked for access to certain areas to be restricted for 24 hours in order to meet the requirements for a behind-closed-doors card.

Plans remain subject to Government approval for a resumption of racing without crowds, which will not be before June 1 at the earliest, and and further detailed planning with local authorities and the British Horseracing Authority.

Delia Bushell, group chief executive of the Jockey Club, said in a statement: “We are working hard on a practical and deliverable plan to stage the 2020 Investec Derby and Investec Oaks at their traditional home, without a crowd and once racing is approved to resume by government.

“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to the Epsom and Walton Downs Conservators for their backing today. These two Classics play a vital role in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries, so it’s of great importance for them to be able to go ahead during this difficult period.

“Our teams now look forward to working with the British Horseracing Authority and local authorities to bring our plan to life.”

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