Derby switch must avoid sporting clashes

Bookmakers would welcome an evening Investec Derby in principle – but warn it might not be an overwhelming success if it clashed with another major sporting event.

Epsom is reported to be considering moving the premier Classic to a Saturday evening slot in a bid to reverse the declining television audience of the great race.

While the betting fraternity is keen on any initiative that boosts interest in racing, it believes a head-to-head with another big occasion would cancel out the potential benefits.

And 2015 would be one of those years as football’s Champions League final is on in Berlin on the same day as the Derby, Saturday, June 6.

The peak audience for this year’s race, won by Australia, was 1.55 million, less than half that achieved by the last time the Classic was shown by the BBC.

However, any change is likely to need the approval of the Queen as the course is well aware of the influence placed on the attendance of the monarch.


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