Due to the extremely wet summer, British Racing has suffered a record number of abandonments throughout the period, with 20 Flat fixtures lost since the beginning of June and a further seven over Jumps. In total, 85 race meetings have so far been lost in 2012 as a result of the adverse weather conditions. A number of additional fixtures have already been programmed to compensate for this and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is pleased to announce details of a further ten additional meetings to be held in the autumn, a trial of Friday Matinee fixtures and Tuesday Twilight fixtures.
The six additional Friday Matinee fixtures will begin racing at 12 noon and overlap with the commencement of the afternoon cards. The trial of four additional Tuesday Twilight fixtures will take place at Wolverhampton and commence approximately ten minutes after the last afternoon race has finished.
List of fixtures
Friday Matinee Dates
21st September, Brighton (Flat)
28th September, Stratford (Jump)
5th October, Yarmouth (Flat)
12th October, Bath (Flat)
19th October, Fakenham (Jump)
26th October, Newcastle (Jump)
Tuesday Twilight Dates
9th October, Wolverhampton (AWT)
16th October, Wolverhampton (AWT)
30th October, Wolverhampton (AWT)
6th November, Wolverhampton (AWT)
Details of race programmes and times will be issued shortly and trainers are invited to put forward their suggestions for race programmes via the Interactive Race Planning Forum.
Ruth Quinn, BHA Director of Racing, said:
"Six of the additional meetings announced for September and October will take place at an earlier start time than is usual for the time of the year. Given that they are additional meetings rather than replacing abandonments, these fixtures provided us with the opportunity to trial the concept of showing British racing during a lunchtime slot during the autumn.
“Betting shops are traditionally busy at these times and bookmakers have indicated that they would like British Racing to be offered at this time, as it is during the winter months. We will measure the outcomes of this trial and consider any future matinee fixtures once we have had an opportunity to review the feedback and data we obtain.
"The fixture list and race programme should be shaped around where the demand is from the sport's various customers, while always factoring in the ability to meet that demand with regard to the horse population."
Levy Board Operations Director Alan Delmonte said:
“The Levy Board’s Betting Patterns Working Party (BPWP) sub group - members of which comprise of representatives from Racing and Betting and is chaired by the Levy Board – strongly supported the trialling of these fixtures. They provide additional opportunities for horses in September and October and create fixtures in new betting sessions.
“The ten additional fixtures are being supported by the Levy Board up to a maximum of £220,000 from its Racing and Betting Special Incentive Fund, which provides support through the year for additional races and fixtures or incentives aimed at higher quality horses and improving levy generation.”