2024 Programme Book 2 Update

19 Mar 24

This update is intended to inform participants about the key changes that will be delivered across Programme Book 2 (23 March – 23 June).

Premier Racedays

We continue to see the roll-out of Premier Racedays, which are fixtures that are run for at least £250k on the Flat (£225k Sunday) and £200K over Jumps (£180k Sunday).

Higher Minimum Values will apply at Premier Racedays, where, in addition, no Flat race will be worth less than £20,000 and no Jump race less than £15,000.

Programme Book 2 will see the following Premier Racedays:

Date Day Racecourse Code
23/03/2024 Saturday Doncaster Flat
23/03/2024 Saturday Newbury Jump
29/03/2024 Friday Newcastle Flat
30/03/2024 Saturday Haydock Park Jump
30/03/2024 Saturday Musselburgh Flat
31/03/2024 Sunday Plumpton Jump
06/04/2024 Saturday Kelso Jump
06/04/2024 Saturday Kempton Park Flat
07/04/2024 Sunday Bath Flat
11/04/2024 Thursday Aintree Jump
12/04/2024 Friday Aintree Jump
13/04/2024 Saturday Aintree Jump
17/04/2024 Wednesday Newmarket Flat
18/04/2024 Thursday Newmarket Flat
20/04/2024 Saturday Ayr Jump
20/04/2024 Saturday Newbury Flat
21/04/2024 Sunday Musselburgh Flat
26/04/2024 Friday Sandown Park Flat
27/04/2024 Saturday Sandown Park Jump
28/04/2024 Sunday Southwell Flat
03/05/2024 Friday Newmarket Flat
04/05/2024 Saturday Goodwood Flat
04/05/2024 Saturday Newmarket Flat
05/05/2024 Sunday Newmarket Flat
08/05/2024 Wednesday Chester Flat
09/05/2024 Thursday Chester Flat
10/05/2024 Friday Chester Flat
11/05/2024 Saturday Ascot Flat
11/05/2024 Saturday Lingfield Park Flat
12/05/2024 Sunday Newcastle Flat
15/05/2024 Wednesday York Flat
16/05/2024 Thursday York Flat
17/05/2024 Friday York Flat
18/05/2024 Saturday Newbury Flat
18/05/2024 Saturday Newmarket Flat
19/05/2024 Sunday Newmarket Flat
25/05/2024 Saturday Goodwood Flat
25/05/2024 Saturday Haydock Park Flat
31/05/2024 Friday Epsom Downs Flat
01/06/2024 Saturday Epsom Downs Flat
02/06/2024 Sunday Hamilton Flat
08/06/2024 Saturday Haydock Park Flat
09/06/2024 Sunday Goodwood Flat
15/06/2024 Saturday Sandown Park Flat
15/06/2024 Saturday York Flat
16/06/2024 Sunday Thirsk Flat
18/06/2024 Tuesday Ascot Flat
19/06/2024 Wednesday Ascot Flat
20/06/2024 Thursday Ascot Flat
21/06/2024 Friday Ascot Flat
22/06/2024 Saturday Ascot Flat


Flat Programme

1. Divisions

Following a trial of dividing races at 16 declarations on the All-Weather (outside the Turf season), AW races will now return to dividing at 18 runners at all racecourses while a review of the trial takes place.

2. +1/+2

The option to run horses that are 1lb or 2lb above a race’s published rating band will return to Class 5 and 6 handicaps following the trial of its removal during PB1. A review of that trial will now take place.

3. Race Volume

As part of the re-distribution of Flat races to better match the horse population across the year, the following rules will apply to Core race volume:

– On the Turf in March and April, fixtures will programme 7 races and be able to divide to 8.

– On the AW to the end of March, fixtures will continue to programme 7 races, with the option to divide to 9. In April, they will only be permitted to divide to 8.

– On both surfaces during May, June and July, racecourses will programme an average of 6.5 races across these three months. This will mean a combination of 6 and 7 race cards. All meetings will be permitted to divide to 8.

4. Flat Pattern

– As previously confirmed, the Listed Ganton Stakes at York (8f, 3yo+, June), The Sovereign (8f 3yo+ Gp3, August) at Salisbury and the Scarbrough (5f 2yo+ Listed, September) at Doncaster have been removed from the Pattern and Listed race programme.

– A change to the race conditions for the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot (7f, 2yos) will see horses no longer be eligible to qualify via their dam’s performance. The race will return to a stallion only qualification as the race was prior to 2019 (sire must have won over 10f+).

– The win restriction has been removed from the Acomb at York (7f, 2yo Gp3 August)

– The Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock Park (12f, 4yo+ fillies & mares, June) has been renamed as the Lester Piggott Stakes.

5. Restricted Race Bands

The following changes have been made to the Restricted race programme for 2024:

– There has been a reduction in the number of Band D races for two-year-olds and an increase in the number of Band B races. All remaining Band D races will be run as Maidens.

– There will be no Band D races run for older horses in 2024.

6. High Value Maiden and Novice

As previously announced, 84 High Value Development Races worth more than £3million in total prize money will be staged in Britain in 2024, across a range of racecourses, with the programme made up as follows:

– 32 Open Novice/Maiden races for two-year-olds, worth a minimum of £40,000;

– 29 Restricted Novice/Maiden races for two-year-olds, worth a minimum of £30,000;

– 23 Open Novice/Maiden races for three-year-olds plus, worth a minimum of £40,000.

– This will begin with the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster on the opening day of the 2024 Turf season, one of 60 such races for two-year-olds.

7. Additional Northern Fixtures

Two additional Flat fixtures have been added in the North to address regional gaps in the race programme. Newcastle will stage an afternoon All-Weather fixture on Monday 8 April, with Thirsk racing on the afternoon of Tuesday 9 April.

These have been added having identified specific gaps from a race planning perspective which have been filled to support northern participants.


Jump Programme

1. Race volume reduction

As part of plans to improve competitiveness of Jump racing in 2024, 300 races overall will be removed across the whole year. Racecourses will continue to programme an average of 6.5 races per fixture across the whole of the year.

2. +1/+2

The option to run horses that are 1lb or 2lb above a race’s published rating band remains unavailable in Class 5 handicaps.

3. National Hunt Flat Races

A reminder that changes have been made which mean that:

– A horse may only run in 3 NHF races, other than in a Pattern Race as the fourth and fifth fun

– A six-year-old will not be eligible to run in NHF races after the end of the season, i.e. 28th April onwards.



1. Division Thresholds

The 2024 maximum prize money threshold for races dividing will be:

– £15,000 at Core Flat and Jump Fixtures (other than NHF races which will be £6,000)

– £15,000 at Premier Jump fixture

– £20,000 at Premier Flat fixtures

At Core fixtures, racecourses can opt out of dividing races with prize money greater than £12,000. Should a racecourse take this option, it would apply for all such races at that venue within the relevant Programme Book.

2. Blank Races

A number of blank races will be left in the programme, which will be programmed nearer to the race date, so that the latest horse population requirements can be taken into account.

Race details will be confirmed approximately two weeks ahead of the fixture. A list of these races will be published on Racing Admin.

3. Cancellation of Races

Any Class 4-6 Handicap on the Flat or 4-5 Handicap over Jumps that receives three or fewer declarations will be cancelled, subject to a minimum of at least six races remaining on the card.

Where a fixture only has six races, a deletion can still occur if a Class 3 or below has at least 12 declared runners and therefore a division of two races of at least six + can be created.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss any other race planning matters, please contact the BHA Racing Department via:

A reminder also that Programme Book 3 will run from 24 June – 15 September. The first set of races (24 June – 14 July) will be available online on 1 May, followed by the rest of the programme on 16 May.