The BHB Board has resolved to take a decision at its next meeting on March 6th on whether to introduce 48-hour declarations for Flat racing. The decision will be dependent on detailed information presented to the Board which assesses how much additional revenue, over a period of time, could be expected to flow into Racing, and also on the outcome of discussions set to commence between those parties seeking to exploit British Racing on the international market and the main recipients of prize money.
At its meeting yesterday, the Board considered the arguments that there was a potential increase in revenue to the sport from blanket 48-hour declarations for Flat racing and that British Racing was currently not making the most of opportunities that existed to sell its product in overseas territories. However, at the same time it was agreed that assurances were needed that all of the sport’s stakeholders – particularly those affected by a change in the declaration timetable – would derive direct benefits from any additional money produced.
In November 2004, BHB had agreed to scale back the number of races with 48-hour declarations, but 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.
The Board yesterday considered a presentation from Racing UK outlining the additional income it would hope to generate should British Racing bring forward its declaration time to two days before a fixture, and also noted a submission from the Press Association regarding regional newspaper coverage of racecards.
In discussion, the Board agreed that if a decision were made to introduce 48-hour declarations, it should be restricted to Flat racing. It was also recognised that discussion would be required with the print media on the practicalities of such a change.
BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said: “The wholesale introduction of 48-hour declarations for Flat racing is a matter of importance for the whole industry. The arguments can at times be complex, however, I believe that a resolution can be achieved relatively simply: British Racing requires guarantees that the financial benefits of such a change will be adequate, and that they will flow right through the sport.”