Changes Made to Epsom Derby Conditions

The British Horse Racing Board agreed to requests to stage the Epsom Derby (Eng-I) the first Saturday in June beginning in 2006 and to add a reserve list beginning in 2005.

Stephen Wallis, managing director of the Flat Race Advisory Panel, said the BHB's decision to a consistent date for the Epsom Derby will put the race "back into the national psyche."

Previously, the Epsom Derby was held on the Saturday following the first Wednesday in June. This meant the timing of the race could fluctuate up to ten days from year to year.

"I'm absolutely thrilled by both decisions, but most especially having the Derby on a set date each year," Wallis told Racing Post. "It's really big news because it means we will get away from such events as the soccer World Cup final for ever and just as importantly the Derby will be back into the national psyche and people will know exactly which date it will take place."

Adding a reserve list to the Derby entries arose this year after the establishment of a 20-runner safety limit. The BHB has agreed to put a maximum of two horses on standby in case a horse is injured or is ill following the 48-hour declaration stage.