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Storm damage will not derail Epsom plans

Epsom's first meeting of the season on April 25 is under no threat -- even though part of a grandstand roof was ripped off yesterday due to intense gales.

The racecourse was evacuated, although there were no reported injuries.

An investigation will begin once constructors assess the damage to the Duchess Stand, opened in 2009 as part of a £38m development to the course, which stages the Derby every June.

Epsom's PR manager Jonno Spence said: "Any events that were scheduled for the Duchess Stand have been relocated to the Queen's Stand for the time being.

"Hopefully everything will be open again by the end of the week. Only 5pc of the roof is damaged, it's just the insulation has blown about which makes it look worse than it is.

"It's certainly not the case that the whole roof has blown off. There is absolutely no danger to the first meeting in April."

Meanwhile, yesterday's card at Ayr was abandoned on health and safety grounds. Clerk of the course Emma Marley gave the jumps fixture the go-ahead after a morning inspection. But while the ground was raceable, high winds in the area took their toll.

Chepstow's meeting on Friday is already under threat and an inspection has been called for 8.30 tomorrow morning as the track is currently waterlogged. And tomorrow's jumps meeting at Lingfield could also be in jeopardy due to waterlogging.

Irish Independent