“The British Horseracing Board made the following announcements following its monthly meeting in London this morning.
Jockeys’ Sponsorship : Code of Conduct
The Board approved the Code of Conduct for Jockeys’ Sponsorship, which carries the backing of all the parties involved, and the way is now clear for detailed computer software development to be undertaken. The Code of Conduct will now be printed and distributed to interested parties.
It is intended that the Jockeys’ Sponsorship Scheme will be introduced on 1st February 1999.
Industry Forum 1999
The 1999 Industry Forum will be held on the morning of Wednesday 13th January 1999 at the Institution of Civil Engineers in Great George St, Westminster, London SW1. Further details will be released in due course.
The Board noted that, following its statement in early September, the future of the Green Seal Service had been further discussed by the Levy Board. BHB will monitor the effectiveness of the new Independent Betting Arbitration Service to ensure that it is operated in the best interests of punters.
Changes to BHB Orders
As part of its continuing programme of improved operational procedures, a number of Order changes have been agreed:
Re-offering of races extended at weekends
The successful procedure for re-offering races which produce small fields at the overnight declaration stage is being extended at weekends. At present, races are re-offered if attracting three or fewer declared runners, but this will be extended to four or fewer on Saturdays and Sundays. It is estimated that an additional 80 extra races per annum will be re-offered.
The very small additional administrative costs of this change will be offset considerably, since the average increase in levy yield achieved by increasing a field size from four to five runners is estimated at £1,800 per race. Around half of the races re-offered at present attract additional runners.
Aware that the media can be adversely affected by delays in the release of full racecards, the Board agreed that the results of this change, which takes effect on 24th October, should be monitored closely before any further extension is considered.
Registration Processes Speeded Up
Horse names will become effective for entry purposes up to five days earlier than at present after the Board approved a change to the current registration system. From 5th November, registration will take effect one clear day after the name has been approved: under the current system, a name becomes effective on the Monday after it has been approved. The change, made possible by advances in technology, will bring benefits to owners and trainers.
The Board also approved, from 5th November, a change which will enable registration of a joint-ownership to become effective the day after approval of the application. The current arrangements preclude such registrations from becoming effective on a Saturday.
Irish Qualified Horses
From 1st January 1999, every British Flat handicap will be open to all Irish-qualified horses, irrespective of where they are trained, provided that they have previously run at least three times in Ireland and have been allotted an official Flat handicap rating in Ireland. Such horses were previously restricted to Flat handicaps with an added value of £10,000 or more, provided that they had a rating of 80 or over.
Fillies’ Allowance in 3yo Pattern Races
The fillies’ allowance will be 5lb in all three-year-olds only Pattern races open to both sexes from the start of the 1999 turf Flat season. At present, Pattern events are the sole three-year-olds only weight-for-age races offering a 3lb rather than a 5lb fillies’ allowance (except for the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby in which there is a 5lb allowance).
It is hoped that this change may encourage the participation of more fillies in the nine affected races: St James’s Palace, St Leger (both Group 1), Dante (Group 2), Sandown Classic Trial, Chester Vase, Lingfield Derby Trial, Jersey Stakes, Queen’s Vase and Gordon Stakes (all Group 3).