Ian Fortune

The future of the 2020 English Derby remains uncertain following the announcement yesterday evening that the competition has been postponed due to the current Covid-19 outbreak.

The Arena Racing Company (ARC) also announced that they would be following the Irish lead and racing behind closed doors at each of their venues in both codes, dogs and horses.

The Derby was due to commence on Good Friday, April 10th but the plan is to now run the competition later in the year. When that will be is very much up in the air and depends on how the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic works out in the coming weeks and months.

Arc greyhound operations director Rachel Corden said: "We have taken the decision to postpone the 2020 Greyhound Derby in line with the closure of all of our sites to the public for a period of time.

"At this time our main priority is to maintain the health and safety of our employees and those that care for the greyhounds attending our sites to race behind closed doors."

"Our sponsors are fully supportive of the decision and we would like to thank all of our colleagues in the greyhound racing industry, along with our sponsors Star Sports and LPS for their ongoing support."


Meanwhile, the Ladbrokes Coral group also announced that their tracks, Crayford, Hove, Monmore and Romford were to follow suit and also race behind closed doors.

Ian Smyth, director of stadia for the Ladbrokes Coral group issued the following statement:

"Following the latest news release from the government this evening we can confirm that the four GVC group greyhound stadia will be racing behind closed doors with effect from Tuesday morning until the end of March, although it is almost certain that we will see an extension to that time period in the coming week.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly but after full consideration we believe it is the most appropriate measure to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and essential personnel while allowing us to continue to operate, which is crucial from a greyhound welfare perspective. We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and government advice and act accordingly.

"At this stage we do not intend to restrict our planned open-race programme and both the final of the Monmore Puppy Derby and Regency heats at Hove remain in the schedule for this coming Saturday, albeit behind closed doors."