The company which built the Duchess' Stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse has blamed 'freak' winds for ripping off a large part of its roof last week.

As three massive cranes arrived on site today to begin repairing the roof Willmott Dixon told the Epsom Guardian that it was confident that freak winds were responsible rather than there being any fault with the roof itself.

The company built the £23.5m, 11,000 capacity grandstand in 2009, and was later shortlisted for its work on the project for a 2009 Construction News Quality Award.

A company spokesperson said: "We were there the next day to meet the managing director of the racecourse and to find out what had happened.

Our first and foremost concern was to get the roof fixed as soon as possible so it didn't affect any race meets.

We firmly believe it was a freak result of harsh winds but we have asked our roofing subcontractors to carry out a full investigation to find out if there was any other issue, but at the moment we believe it was a result of the freak severe winds."

Yesterday Rupert Trevelyan, managing director of Epsom racecourse, announced that work to repair the roof would begin later this week.

But today no further information about what is happening on the site was available on its website or from its PR company.

Mr Trevelyan said: “Three tower cranes will be used to allow access to the damaged area, which will be repaired and made waterproof.

Alongside this a survey of the section will be undertaken to determine exactly what cause the damage to the roof.”