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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

No explanation from Epsom after Derby axing of Chapman

Matt Chapman: polarised opinion
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Epsom has praised last week's "first-class" coverage by ITV but refused to comment on the racecourse's decision to axe Matt Chapman as master of ceremonies for the Investec Derby.

Contrary to ITV's wishes, the broadcaster's betting host was dropped as the voice of the trophy presentations for the premier Classic after displeasing senior figures at the Jockey Club Racecourses venue when carrying out the same role following Friday's Oaks.

Chapman, no stranger to controversy during his career, welcomed Oaks-winning trainer John Gosden to the presentation area following Enable’s impressive victory with trademark razzmatazz and the words: "Here’s Johnny G!"

Wrong tone

It is understood Epsom considered this to be the wrong tone for such an occasion and replaced him with Martin Kelly for the Derby presentation, which took place in front of the Queen.

ITV is believed to be annoyed about the switch due to its desire to bring more theatre to major-race presentations. It will continue to involve Chapman in future ceremonies.

A spokesperson for Epsom said: "I'm sorry, we don’t comment on the numerous discussions we have with our broadcast partners, but we would like to be clear that we view ITV as a fantastic broadcast partner for the Investec Derby Festival and were delighted with their first-class presentation and production of our event."

Chapman tweeted on Wednesday night: "Thanks for many kind words people. I find in life if you want something done a certain way just ask. It's not hard."

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I'm sorry, we don’t comment on the numerous discussions we have with our broadcast partners
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