BOSSES at Chelmsford City Racecourse will be allowed to apply for fixtures in the 2015 calendar - potentially seeing horseracing return to the city.

British Horseracing Authority chiefs confirmed today the application made by the course in Great Leighs owned by gambling firm Betfred to join the fixture allocation process has been approved.

Although it does not guarantee the return of racing to the venue which closed in January 2009 just nine months after opening, it will allow for the track to bid for meetings to be held there again.

Ruth Quinn, Director of racing for BHA, said: "Having submitted applications which met all of the criteria for new and converted racecourses, both Chelmsford City and the converted Newcastle all-weather track have been granted permission to join the 2015 fixture allocation process.

"However, this should not be interpreted as a guarantee or indication of an expansion of all-weather fixtures or the overall Fixture List in order to accommodate new fixtures at either venue.

"We continue to develop the fixture allocation process, part of which involves determining customer demand for fixtures and the scope of the horse population to meet such demand."