R v Jockey Club, ex p RAM Racecourses Ltd

Reference: [1993] 2 All ER 225

Court: Divisional Court

Judge: Stuart-Smith LJ and Simon Brown J

Date of judgment: 30 Mar 1990

Summary: Judicial Review - Availability of remedy - Legitimate Expectation

Appearances: Patrick Milmo KC - Leading Counsel (Respondent) 

Instructing Solicitors: Simmons & Simmons for RAM, Charles Russell for the Jockey Club


In 1988 a Jockey Club report on racing fixtures stated that an additional 60 fixtures ought to be allocated in 1990 and 1991 and that an unspecified number of fixtures should be made available to any new licensed racecourse. The report was sent to established racecourse owners but not to prospective owners like the applicant who had £100,000 on a site in the belief that it would be allocated 15 fixtures in 1991. The Jockey Club, however, refused to allocate any fixtures to the applicant’s racecourse for 1991 and would not commit to future allocations. The applicant sought judicial review of the Jockey Club’s decision not to allocate at least 15 racing fixtures to its racecourse for 1991.


Whether the decision sought to be challenged was amenable to judicial review and, if so, whether the report had raised a legitimate expectation in the applicant that the Jockey Club would grant a minimum of 15 fixtures for the new racecourse.


(1) The applicant could not rely on the Jockey Club report as raising a legitimate expectation that the applicant’s racecourse would be granted at least 15 fixtures for 1991 as there had been no clear and unambiguous representation in the report that a new racecourse would receive such a right; (2) since the report had not been made directly available to the applicant it was therefore not within the class of persons who were entitled to rely on it; (3) it was not reasonable for the applicant to rely on the report without ascertaining from the Jockey Club whether its assumption in respect of fixtures for its new racecourses was correct.


Ram Racecourses is an important decision on the nature of communications that may give rise to a legitimate expectation.