Big races including the Derby are insured if coronavirus pandemic hits race meetings in 2021

Big races including the Derby are insured if coronavirus pandemic hits race meetings in 2021

  • Major race meetings are in a good position to cope with government restrictions
  • The Derby is in the rare position of having applicable insurance protection cover
  • The usual attendance of more than 100,000 may not be able to attend next year
  • Cheltenham, Aintree and Royal Ascot can also count upon pandemic insurance

The Derby is one of the few sporting events to have multi-year insurance policies that provide cover for global pandemics — and the major race meetings are well placed to cope financially if the Government’s restrictions on mass gatherings continue into next year.

The Derby will take place at a deserted Epsom today, with the Oaks on the same card for the first time as the two-day meeting has been reduced to one. 

With so much uncertainty over the long-term impact of coronavirus, there are doubts about whether the usual crowd of more than 100,000 will be able to attend next year. 

Epsom is one of the few sporting events that will be covered by pandemic insurance next year

Wimbledon organisers admitted earlier this week that they cannot secure pandemic insurance cover for 2021 after claiming more than £100million to cover the losses from the cancellation of this year’s Championships.

But Sportsmail has learned that Epsom has a multi-year policy. Cheltenham and Aintree are also among a handful of major venues to have the multi-year cover — a legacy of a far-sighted decision taken by the Jockey Club following the foot and mouth crisis which led to the cancellation of the 2001 Cheltenham Festival. 

Standard race fixtures across the sport are not covered, but major meetings are insured — including Royal Ascot, which took place without crowds last month.

Epsom will be able to recover most of their lost ticket and hospitality revenue for today’s meeting, worth tens of millions, through insurance.

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