The Cheltenham Festival is set to retain its current format of 27 races over four days after chairman Robert Waley-Cohen on Monday ruled out introducing an extra contest at the meeting.
The news will come as something of a disappointment to trainer Nicky Henderson, who had said on Sunday he hoped to persuade Waley-Cohen – who has former Gold Cup winner Long Run at Seven Barrows – to bring in the equivalent of the Ryanair Chase for hurdlers over two and a half miles.
The fixture consists of three seven-race cards on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of the festival while the Thursday, which only has six races under rules, also features a charity race.
There had been speculation an additional race would be brought in for this year's meeting with the then managing director Edward Gillespie saying in 2011 that he thought it was "a shade of odds-on."
However, after this year's meeting, Gillespie had said he was not aware of a pressing case for an extra race.
Waley-Cohen said yesterday: "There are no immediate plans to increase the number of races at the festival and there won't be an extra race in 2013.
"I know Nicky [Henderson] is keen to have a two-and-a-half-mile hurdle but it is not the only candidate if we were to decide to have an additional race."
Waley-Cohen has said in the past he would like to have a fillies’ and mares' novice hurdle at the festival while a staying handicap chase over a distance around three and a half miles has also been suggested.