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Epsom splits up Derby sponsorship rights- 16 Feb 2009 00:00:00

Following the withdrawal of title sponsor Vodafone, Epsom Downs Racecourse is to divide up the sponsorship rights for the Derby meeting into two separate day packages.

In light of the current economic climate, Epsom Downs Racecourse has taken the decision to divide up The 2009 Derby Festival sponsorship offering the individual races on Ladies Day and Derby Day, held on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June respectively.

This will be the first time that The Derby has been offered to potential sponsors as an individual sponsorship property.

Nick Blofeld, managing director of Epsom Downs Racecourse, commented: 'It has obviously been and continues to be a difficult time to find a title sponsor for the two days of The 2009 Derby Festival. A number of parties have shown great interest in the title sponsorship but have had to withdraw from latter stage negotiations due to the on-going economic uncertainty.'

'We have therefore made the decision to open up the sponsorship of all races over The Derby Festival including the two English classics, The Derby and The Oaks. It's a rare opportunity as The Derby has only ever been sponsored by two other companies and we are keen to explore long term partnerships.

‘It is also the first year of a new improved Epsom Downs, as we will be opening the new grandstand at our Spring Meeting on 22nd April and we have also recently opened our new hotel.'

The three-year £38m redevelopment programme at Epsom Downs Racecourse is nearing completion with the official opening of the new Grandstand at the Spring Meeting on Wednesday 22nd April.

Vodafone, which had been the long-time title sponsor of the Derby meeting, decided to end its association two years ago although it struck a last minute deal to continue its backing in 2008 for a single year after the course failed to find a replacement sponsor.

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