The Great British Garden Party

This year, the 241st running of the Investec Derby will take place in an unprecedented way. For the first time in its history the World’s Greatest Flat Race will be staged behind closed doors, due to the current COVID19 pandemic restrictions. There will be no public access to the racecourse, the outer enclosures or to the Hill.

The event will be equally unprecedented in its format, taking place on just one single day, Saturday 4th July 2020. The day will consist of seven races including the historic fillies’ classic the Investec Oaks, and the feature race the Investec Derby.

Race fans can still get involved and enjoy the ‘fun of the fair’ flavour of the Investec Derby at home with (socially distanced) family and friends; the racecourse today has launched a downloadable ‘Great British Garden Party’ pack including bunting, games and recipe content.

What’s more, the racecourse is looking for the best home setups and will be sharing favourites on the day with the chance to win the incredible prize of a Private Tour around The Jockey Club’s sparkling wine partner, Coates and Seely’s vineyard, for up to 12 people! Visit to learn more about this amazing prize and download your pack now.

General Manager of Epsom Downs Racecourse, Simon Durrant said:

“We are delighted that the Investec Derby can go ahead at its unique home course. Indeed, this will be the first time both the Oaks and Derby races take place on the same day, with both set to feature highly competitive fields.

“Whilst we are sad not to be able to welcome the usual thousands of spectators to the racecourse in person, we invite the community and wider audience to get involved via our website and social media channels, and to enjoy the historic event on ITV on Saturday 4th July.”

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Strategy & Resources Committee, said:

“With the Government’s decision to encourage the return of national sporting events we welcome the innovative approach being adopted by the racing industry in order to ensure a safe Investec Derby and associated day of racing in these exceptional times.

“Racing is a part of our borough’s proud heritage but we recognise that, this year, the only way to support and celebrate this day of racing, is to enjoy it from home.”

Here Epsom Downs Racecourse looks to answer questions about how this unique version of the event will take place and the ways the community and wider public can continue to engage with and enjoy the spectacle that is Investec Derby Day, albeit in an alternative way.


What date is Investec Derby 2020?

Investec Derby Day will take place on a single day in 2020 – Saturday 4 July.

What races will take place:

The day will feature seven races including the Investec Oaks and the feature race, the Investec Derby. This is the first time the fillies’ classic has ever taken place on the same day as the Derby.

Who has authorised the meeting to go ahead behind closed doors (BCD)?

The UK Government approved the resumption of elite sport behind closed doors from 1st June, provided a range of important health and safety protocols were adhered to. British Racing had worked collaboratively to prepare for this return and has been staging events since that resumption date, all overseen by the sport’s independent governing body, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

The Jockey Club, which runs Epsom Downs Racecourse, has worked in conjunction with the BHA, the Epsom & Walton Down Conservators, who govern access to the Downs, and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to enable the meeting to go ahead at the racecourse without a crowd present, on the rescheduled date of Saturday 4th July 2020.

Can I attend?

No, sadly the event for the first time in its history will not be open to the public in response to the government’s restrictions on mass gatherings due to the COVID19 pandemic. However, the racing will be televised live for all to enjoy on free-to-air television on ITV main channel or subscription channel, Racing TV.

Who is allowed to be at the event?

Only a very limited number of pre-approved key operational staff, equine personnel and the racehorses themselves will be permitted on-site. They will follow the specific requirements as outlined by the BHA and agreed with the Government, including health screening. Social distancing and PPE (personal protective equipment) will be implemented to minimise any risk of transmission of the virus.

Why has it been permitted to go ahead?

Consent for the sport was given by the Government to resume behind closed doors from 1 June 2020. The racecourse has duly satisfied the governing bodies that it can meet all safety requirements in order to go ahead.

The Investec Derby and the Investec Oaks are of vital importance to the sport of horseracing as they form part of the 2020 Classic programme that also includes the 1000/2000 Guineas at Newmarket, which were also postponed and run in June. These races are significant to the entire racing and

breeding industries, which support tens of thousands of livelihoods in the UK alone. A racehorse only gets one chance in its lifetime – at the age of three – to race in either the Investec Derby or the Investec Oaks, so it is pleasing this was not lost from the current generation.

Why did the race need to be staged at Epsom Downs?

The Derby Course is unique, and running the race at its rightful home provides all horses with the same historic and supreme test of the Thoroughbred that every generation has enjoyed since 1780 – other than during both World Wars.

How are you going to host it behind closed doors?

The racing operation within the main stands and equine areas (parade ring, stables and racecourse) will only be open to approved key operational staff. A section of the Downs will be temporarily closed in order to ensure the event is delivered safely behind closed doors.

Will the Downs be open?

A section of the Downs will be closed for a 24hr period from 0001hrs to 2359hrs on Saturday 4 July, as defined on the map below. This is the minimum time required to secure the racecourse in the build up to and break down of the streamlined event, to ensure public and staff safety.

However, the wider areas of the Downs outside this area will remain open and accessible to the public to enjoy fresh air and exercise. This area of the Downs will not have a view of the race due to the fencing as detailed below. Local trainers will be permitted to exercise their horses within the restricted area on the morning of the race meeting as usual.

How will you close off the Downs?

Fencing and stewarding staff will be placed around the perimeter of the site which restricts movement and also removes the ability to watch the event, including at the various crossing points onto the Hill and surrounding areas. We are also in communication with the travelling community to request they do not attend on the Hill this year.

Are you allowed to close off the Downs?

The Downs are private land owned by The Jockey Club. They are subject to an Act of Parliament, which provides the public with access to ‘air and exercise on foot’, but under the proviso that “the public’s use shall not interfere with the rights conferred upon (the racecourse) and the Levy Board, principally to hold race meetings and to train racehorses.” The Downs are where racing and the community have existed together for centuries.

The Conservators have provided approval on this rare occasion for the event to take place on a postponed date and for a section of the Downs to be temporarily unavailable to the public.

The area that will be in use behind closed doors is defined on the map below. This is in order for the racecourse to control all access points, including roads and footpaths, as defined under a clause that we may, “during the racing period, control access over the Race Course and Paddock.”

Will there be other road closures?

In order for the event to take place safely and securely, Tattenham Corner Road

will be closed off for vehicles and pedestrians from 0630hrs to 1900hrs on Saturday 4 July.


Can I watch the race on TV?

Yes, 6 races will be televised on free to air television on ITV1, including the Investec Oaks and culminating with the Investec Derby. Coverage will begin at 1:30pm and the Investec Derby will take place at 4:55pm after which coverage will conclude at 5:30pm.

Can I bet on the races?

Yes, bookmakers will continue to take bets as normal either online or at your local betting shop. They will have their own social distancing measures in place.

You can also bet online with our official Investec Derby betting partner,

Where can I find the racecard?

EDR will be producing a digital racecard with interactive content including exclusive videos, to enable fans to access facts and information about the day’s contenders on their device from the convenience of their own home. Within the racecard, Epsom Downs Racecourse will be supporting both The Jockey Club’s charity, Racing Welfare, and Investec’ pledge to support London foodbanks with The Trussell Trust by running a raffle to win a pair of breeches, signed by the Jockeys running in the 241st Derby, If you would like to subscribe to receive this on the morning of the meeting please sign up at or visit our website on the day.

Great British Garden Party pack

The Great British Garden Party pack contains everything you need for the perfect (socially distanced) Garden Party to celebrate Investec Derby Day on Saturday 4th July. Epsom Downs Racecourse will be looking for the best home setups and sharing favourites on the day. Get involved using #InvestecDerbyDay for your chance to WIN the incredible prize of a Private Tour around The Jockey Clubs sparkling wine partner, Coates and Seely’s, vineyard for up to 12 people! Visit to download yours now.

Council’s planning application for its site at the Wells at planning committee

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s planning application for the redevelopment of council land at the Wells will be debated at the planning committee on Thursday 9 July.

The proposed redevelopment includes

  • 23 homes, 40% of which will be much needed affordable housing
  • a community hall to be managed by Wells residents for use by the local residents
  • a children’s play area
  • retention of the existing public right of way

The Wells is a 1930’s housing development within Epsom Common, built on the land around the well, where the original Epsom salts were discovered. The area incorporated an underused council building that had been used partly as a day centre which required significant refurbishment. In 2015, to ensure continuation of community services, the council decided to close the day centre, transferring services to the Sefton Road Community & Wellbeing Centre (three miles away) which has become the Borough Council’s flagship facility for its community and well-being services.

The council has held a number of public meetings and consultations about the future of the site with local residents and representatives over the last five years. The council has informed the community of its intention to proceed with the redevelopment of the site.

The Planning Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, 9 July at 7pm. This meeting will be held online and is open to the press and public to attend using free GoToWebinar software or by telephone. Full details, including a link to the online and telephone details, will be provided on the first page of meeting agenda –

To view the planning application CLICK HERE

Deadline for public speaking registration is Noon, 6th July 2020

Baton round deployed in Ewell

On Friday 27th June at around 8.40pm, officers from Surrey Police attended an address in Gatley Avenue, Ewell, following reports of racially aggravated public order, and a man threatening to harm others with a knife.
During the incident police deployed a baton round against a man in his 40s. He was taken to hospital as a precaution, and later discharged with minor injuries (bruising to his stomach). He has been arrested on suspicion of affray and racially aggravated public order. He has now been taken to custody for questioning.
A second man, in his 30s, has also been arrested in connection with the same incident, on suspicion of affray and racially aggravated public order. He is also in custody for questioning. This is believed to be an isolated incident between two men who are known to each other, and we are not looking for anyone else at this time.
Chief Superintendent Clive Davies, divisional commander for East Surrey said: 
“Due to the deployment of the baton round, we immediately notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct (who attended last night in an assessment role), and commenced our post-incident procedure. Although the level of injury sustained does not meet the threshold for a mandatory referral, we have chosen to voluntarily refer this to the IOPC for their consideration as we are committed to ensuring our actions are transparent and fully accountable.
“We appreciate there was a great deal of disturbance locally with road closures, the police helicopter, armed police and police dogs. We are grateful to the local community for their understanding and support last night, with public safety being a priority for us.”
Officers investigating the public order are keen to speak to anyone who saw or heard anything in the area between 8pm and 10pm that may help us to understand the circumstances. In particular we know there were a number of people recording the incident on mobile phones, and we believe it may also have been captured on dash-cam, helmet-cam, video doorbells and CCTV. We would ask anyone in the area who has footage that could assist the investigation, or heard or saw anything, to make contact.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101, or via the online reporting system at reference PR/452000066154.
You can also report any information, anonymously, to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


UPDATE: Man charged following incident in Gatley Avenue.

Officers investigating an incident in Gatley Avenue, Ewell, on Friday evening have charged a man.

Damian Dolor, aged 42, from Epsom was charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour under section 4 of the Public Order Act, and was remanded to appear at magistrates court.

A second man in his 30s was released without charge, with no further action being taken.

Ashley Road Cemetery opening hours extended

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has extended the temporary opening hours at the Ashley Road cemetery

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Council has responded to government guidance concerning the safe opening of cemeteries, and the need to maintain effective physical distancing.

This meant that the opening hours of the cemetery were reduced to allow burials to take place with dignity and respect for the families.

The current arrangement has now been reviewed following the relaxing of social distancing and new government guidance.

The cemetery will now be open to visitors

  • Weekdays 3.30pm – 6pm
  • Weekends 9.30am – 3pm

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Council’s Environment & Safe Communities Committee said:

“We hope that the extended times will provide more flexibility for people to visit their loved ones who have passed away.

“We ask visitors to be courteous and patient around gravesides, ensuring that social distancing is maintained – as they would in other public spaces.

“The situation will continue to be constantly reviewed. Should local restrictions need to be introduced or Government guidance be further updated, we may need to change hours again to reflect the measures needed to keep visitors and our staff safe”.

The new opening hours start on Tuesday 30th June. 

Police in Surrey set to crackdown on drink and drug-drivers

Officers are set to launch a summer crackdown on drink and drug-drivers in Surrey and Sussex.

The two-week campaign aims to educate motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence, and to target offenders who pose a risk to themselves and other road users.

While officers routinely respond to reports of drink and drug-driving 365 days a year, patrols will be increased across the counties from 29 June to 13 July.

The campaign also coincides with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s seatbelt operation, aimed to raise awareness of the potentially devastating consequences of not belting up in a vehicle. Not wearing a seat belt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys.

It is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt; it is also the responsibility of the driver to ensure that children are using the correct safety restraints for their age and size. If caught not wearing a seat belt, individuals could face a fine of £100. If taken to court, this could be increased up to £500.

The Drive SMART partnership in Surrey will be supporting the National Police Chiefs’ Council seatbelt campaign throughout June and July 2020.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible on our roads, and to deal robustly with anyone who compromises the safety of themselves or anyone else.

“Much of this is down to education and enforcement of the ‘fatal four’ offences – speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt. These are the four most common causes of fatal and seriously injury collisions on our roads.

“I’m sure people will have heard me warn them about these dangers before, but the message remains the same as I am committed to saving lives. Drink and drug-driving destroys lives, it’s as simple as that.

“While the vast majority of motorists drive safely and responsibly, there continues to be a small minority who think they are above the law. Whether you “feel fine” or were “just around the corner”, we’ve heard every excuse in the book. But there’s no excuse for ever driving under the influence of drink or drugs.”

Last year in Surrey, a total of 83 crashes where drink driving may have been a factor resulted in one or more persons being injured. Two road deaths were also recorded where drink driving may have contributed to the circumstances.

Chief Insp Hodder said: “These are statistics which are wholly avoidable. By choosing to drink-drive, you are choosing to put your life – and the lives of other innocent road users – at risk.

“We’ll continue to proactively patrol our counties’ roads and respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers when we receive them. We can’t be everywhere, but we could be anywhere.

“Think carefully before you make your next journey. It could be your last.”

Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner David Munro said: “Whilst pubs and restaurants won’t be re-opening until July, drink and drug driving remains a real concern if people have been drinking or taking other substances at home and then getting behind the wheel. This is irresponsible and potentially life-threatening behaviour.

“Those who are caught over the limit should be in no doubt that they will face the legal and social consequences of their actions, which could mean fines, but also imprisonment, losing their licence and their livelihoods.”

Anyone caught and convicted as part of the summer 2020 crackdown will be identified on the Surrey Police news website and social media pages.

The consequences of drink or drug-driving could include the following:

  • A minimum 12 month ban;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • A possible prison sentence;
  • A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance;
  • Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA;
  • You could also kill or seriously injure yourself or someone else.

The drink and drug-driving campaign is being run in conjunction with partners including Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

Surrey Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Surrey County Council (including Surrey Fire and Rescue Service) and Highways England have committed to renew the Drive SMART Partnership.

The primary aim of the Surrey Safer Roads Partnership Drive SMART is “Making People Safer on Surrey’s Roads”. Our objectives are to work together to:

• Reduce the number of road casualties, especially fatal and serious injuries

• Tackle collision clusters and high risk routes

• Identify and support vulnerable road users to reduce their risk

• Encourage safer and considerate road user behaviour

For more information please visit:

Witness appeal following GBH in Ashtead

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after a fight left the victim with injuries requiring hospital treatment.

Surrey Police were called to reports of a fight between 20-30 men in Ashtead Recreation Ground on 24 June.

At around 9-9.30pm, a group of young men were playing rugby in the park when they were approached by a second large group of men who were nearby.

After a physical confrontation, the two groups of men got into a fight, resulting in several victims being assaulted, including a 19-year-old man who is believed to have been stabbed in the back and was left with a fractured jaw. His injuries are not believed to be life changing. 

Five men have been arrested in connection with this incident, aged between 18 and 21, from the Chessington, Leatherhead and Epsom areas. 

If you witnessed this incident or have any information which could help, including mobile phone, dash cam or CCTV footage, please call 101 and quote ref PR/45200065242. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can report information to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Borough Commander Karen Coyne, said: “We recognise that knife crime has been a source of concern for the Mole Valley community. I would like to reassure residents that we are aware of the issue and concentrating our resources on tackling knife crime as best we can. This was a serious, unprovoked assault and if you have any information, particularly about the suspects, I would urge you to come forward. These weapons have no place in our community.”

Carrying a knife can have a devastating impact young people, families, the community and victims.

If you or someone you know wants to take the next step and join the millions of people living knife free, help and support is available Click Here.

If you are in danger or need immediate help, always call us on 999.

Guild Living pledges £4.5 million landscape investment for later living community in Epsom

Guild Living, a partnership with Legal & General, that is promoting a new later living community next to Epsom Hospital, has announced that it will invest £4.5 million on creating a new landscaped area at the heart of the scheme. The plans will create two acres of landscaped space that will be open to the public, including for staff working at the neighbouring hospital.

The plans for 350 residential apartments for older people includes cafés, restaurants and community spaces – along with a wellness and fitness centre, children’s nursery and GP consultation room, all of which will be available for the wider public to access. 

Guild Living’s mission is to “reinstate older people back into the minds and hearts of communities across the UK”. It hopes its developments will also free up existing homes in the area for first-time buyers and young families by encouraging downsizing to more age-appropriate housing.

Backed by Legal & General, Guild Living has the investment in place to start building as soon as planning permission is granted. With the economy moving into recession, the proposals will provide a timely economic boost for Epsom. The scheme is expected to create 80 new jobs in the new later living community and generate an additional £2.2 million spend in local shops and services.

With its Epsom scheme situated next to the hospital, Guild Living also hopes to relieve pressure on local NHS services by providing tailored care suites, which ensure recovering patients can staircase back to independent living. An independent report by research consultancy Carterwood shows that there will be a need for over 4,000 private extra care units in Epsom and the surrounding area by 2022.

Through its partnerships with Legal & General and academics at the University of Bath, Guild Living wants to enable older people to live more independently, with housing designed to meet the health, wellbeing and care needs of over-55s.

Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director of Guild Living, comments: “We are delighted to announce our investment in a new public space next to the hospital, providing much-needed new facilities and areas for NHS staff and hospital patients and visitors to relax in. This reflects our vision for an outward-facing scheme that encourages interaction between different generations, combating isolation.”

“Now more than ever, at a time when people are being told to isolate themselves, and our elderly are most vulnerable, we must recognise the importance of purpose-built housing for older people which provides the care they need, supports local NHS services and reduces feelings of loneliness.”

“As the owner and operator of later living communities, we are committed to Epsom for the long-term. We will continue to work closely with residents, community groups and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council as the project evolves to deliver the best scheme for the local area.”

In addition to Epsom, Guild Living also has projects underway in Bath and Walton-on-Thames, with further developments planned.  More information about the plans are available at:

Witness appeal following racially aggravated incident in Epsom

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman and her husband were racially abused in Auriol Park in Epsom.

The couple were walking in the park at around 8.45pm on 9 June when they passed the suspect and another man who were sitting on a bench.

The suspect started shouting at the victims using racially abusive language. The couple tried to walk away but the suspect continued to harass them, threatening to punch the man and shouting at the woman.

The suspect stayed in the park but his friend cycled away  on a push bike shortly after the incident. The suspect is described as a white man, in his early 20s , 5ft 9 tall, with short brown hair and was wearing a black tracksuit.

If you witnessed this incident or have any information which may help, including dashcam or CCTV footage, please call 101 and quote ref PR/45200059552. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also call independent charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Hate crime will not be tolerated in Surrey. Surrey’s profile of hate crime is constantly developing and we rely on those affected coming forward and making reports.

Victims having the confidence in both themselves and us to make reports is incredibly important if we are to know the true extent of hate crime in our county.

If you have been a victim of hate crime yourself, please make a report, either by calling 101 (999 in an emergency), call the Stop Hate UK helpline on 0800 138 1625 or download the Surrey Stop Hate UK app on the Apple and Google app stores.

Please don’t suffer in silence.

Supporting the armed forces past and present

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be raising the armed forces day flag within the borough this Monday for the week preceding national Armed Forces Day.

In doing so, the borough joins 10 Downing Street, Government departments, local authorities across the UK and others in showing our support for the service personnel of our armed forces.

Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Humphrey Reynolds said “The raising of the Armed Forces Flag provides us all with the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the men and women who make up the armed forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.

“In honour of the bravery of our service personnel and recognising the vital work they carry out to ensure our security, we normally raise the Armed Forces Day Flag in a special ceremony in Epsom Market Place.

“A ceremony is not possible this year, but we are proud to raise the flag as part of synchronised flag raising ceremonies across the whole of the UK”.

With physical events being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers of Armed Forces day have come up #SaluteOurForces.  #SaluteOurForces is a simple way for anyone to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe. To join in, simply send a photo or video of yourself or your friends and colleagues saluting then either Tweet the image to  @ArmedForcesDay using #SaluteOurForces or email the image to [email protected]. Armed Forces Day takes place each year on the last Saturday in June

For info on Armed Forces Day see:


Details of the 2020 Investec Derby , [email protected]

Details for the running of The Investec Derby 2020 has now been released and the race will be run at 4.55pm on Saturday 4th July at Epsom Downs Racecourse. The change in start time from 4.30pm has been made to help further increase the audience for the greatest Flat race in the world. The Investec Derby will be the sixth race of a seven race card, taking place behind closed doors, with six races on ITV1. 

Phil White, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses – London Region, said: “We have worked closely with ITV to try and maximise our best possible reach for the Investec Derby. We’re always keen to explore ways to enhance our broadcast audience, and this unique year has provided us with an opportunity to do this. The Investec Derby is one of the greatest sporting occasions in the World and we are excited about showcasing it to a wider national and global audience.”

Investec Derby Day running order:

ITV1  1.50pm  The Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes    6f

ITV1  2.25pm  The Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed)    7f

ITV1  3.00pm The Investec Handicap Stakes             1m 2f

ITV1  3.40pm The Investec Oaks (Group 1)                1m 4f

ITV1  4.15pm  The Princess Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Investec) (Group 3) 1m 113y

ITV1  4.55pm The Investec Derby (Group 1)               1m 4f

    5.35pm  The Investec Zebra Handicap Stakes   7f 

With the meeting taking place behind closed doors Epsom Downs Racecourse invites you to join them from the comfort of your home. A special Derby @ Home web pages are being updated with advice on how to make the most of a Derby @ Home including Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster suggests six great wines for under a tenner, How to create your own Derby Spritz cocktail at home with this simple recipe and What makes a Great British Picnic? Follow their guide to create the classic British picnic at home.

More will be added so please CLICK HERE for details and we will keep you updated. 

Also they are encouraging people to sign up to their newsletter to receive the digital racecard. To sign up CLICK HERE