BHB has expressed a firm commitment to considering the introduction of a universal 48-hour declaration system should strong evidence emerge that there would be significant resultant financial benefits to the sport.
Until that time, the number of races currently staged with 48-hour declarations is to be reduced.
BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said:
“The decision to scale back 48-hour declarations was reached by the Board with some reluctance, and it may be that in time this is seen as taking one step back before taking two steps forward.
“Even those people who have expressed genuine concerns about the downsides of early declarations recognise that a 48-hour system has the potential to generate significant financial benefits for British Racing from overseas betting.
“The Board was mindful that the regional press had predicted that the number of newspapers carrying final declared racecards would increase if there was a universal 48-hour system, which would be positive for the sport.
“However, we accepted that it would be difficult to introduce 48-hour declarations across the board when the overall financial benefits were unproven and unquantified. Without a very clear commercial imperative for such a change, the Board took the view that we should retain 48-hour declarations only for certain races.
“The Board strongly believed that Racing should explore all avenues that could lead to financial gains for the sport and that a 48-hour system should be put on the agenda if a compelling case emerges.”
• 48-hour declarations will continue for Sunday Racing, Group 1 Flat and non-Novice Grade 1 Jump races and All Weather Track Racing from November 2004 to March 2005
• Group 2 and 3 Flat races will revert to 24-hour declarations
• Heritage Handicaps on the Flat and Grade 3 Jump Handicaps will revert to 24-hour declarations. The host racecourse can at its discretion continue to adopt a 48-hour declaration stage, in which case the race would, as at present, operate a 1pm deadline for Reserves on the day preceding the race
• In due course, a trial will be staged to ascertain the impact of moving the Jockeys’ Declaration deadline forward to 11.30am from 1pm, better enabling US outlets to display British cards and form in a format suitable for the local market