The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Friday announced that an additional floodlit fixture will be staged each week for the next eight weeks having been agreed by British Racing's tripartite structure of BHA, Racecourses and Horsemen.
This is to provide additional opportunities for the high number of horses that have been eliminated from races in recent weeks as well as large numbers of horses that are looking for opportunities as the Flat season draws to a close. Since the beginning of September, there have been over 1,500 eliminations from Flat races.
The first of the eight fixtures will be on Thursday 18 October at Wolverhampton and then as follows:
Wednesday 24 October - Chelmsford City
Thursday 1 November - Newcastle
Wednesday 7 November - Chelmsford City
Thursday 15 November - Kempton Park
Wednesday 21 November - Wolverhampton
Thursday 29 November - Kempton Park
Wednesday 5 December - Newcastle
Entries for the 17 October fixture will close tomorrow, Saturday 13 October at 12 noon with declarations at the 48-hour stage as normal. Full race programme and fixture information will be available on the Racing Admin website www2.racingadmin.co.uk shortly.
Entry and declaration deadlines for the remaining seven fixtures will be as normal with further fixture and race programme details available in due course.
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer a the BHA, said: "We routinely see high levels of eliminations in the autumn and we know this can be a source of great frustration for owners and trainers as they try to find opportunities for their horses to run as the Flat season draws to close. That has been the case again this year and the creation of an extra floodlit fixture each week through October and November will help us to get those horses onto the racecourse. The last race at these extra fixtures will be staged no later than 8:30.”
The additional fixtures have been agreed by the BHA, Racecourse Association and Horsemen’s Group under the terms of the Members’ Agreement, with financial supportive provided by the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners Association and nominated representative of the Horsemen's Group, said:
“The approval of additional floodlit fixtures is always a delicate discussion, with there being a fine balance between generating extra income for the industry through extra fixtures and the opportunities needed for horsemen with the associated costs and staffing issues.
"As the 2019 fixture and funding process approaches, we look forward to working with the racecourses and the BHA in order that the fixture list continues to evolve in order to meet the demands and requirements of all stakeholders.”
Andy Clifton, Racing Director at the Racecourse Association, said: “In a challenging year with the weather for both racecourses and horsemen, it is encouraging to see the industry working together to put on additional fixtures at a time of high demand. I am sure that these opportunities will be well supported, underlining the importance of us remaining agile in our approach.”
Note - From the start of September to 14 October there have been 1,520 eliminations from Flat races.The following graph shows elimination levels by week for all Class 3 – 7 races beginning Sunday 9 September up to and including Saturday 13 October.