The British Horseracing Board today publishes Racin?_x0019_s Fixture List for 2002, which fulfils the Boar?_x0019_s policy of meeting the needs of racegoers, punters, racehorse owners, breeders, the betting industry and the media in a balanced manner which maximises Racin?_x0019_s income.
Its key features are:
1,222 fixtures, up 9 on 2001
60 Sunday fixtures on 19 Sundays, compared to 61 on 20 Sundays in 2001
163 evening fixtures on 77 evenings (162 and 77 in 2001), including six Saturday evenings in the summer period (as in 2001)
An eight-day break in September between the Summer and Core Periods of the National Hunt season
4 new All Weather Track fixtures between Christmas and New Year to maximise the prospect of racing at this key time
13 fixtures staged over the two-day Bank Holiday on 3rd and 4th June which commemorates Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee
5 extra fixtures in September to meet the demands of the horse population
7 breaks of the Levy Board’s Fixture Criteria, compared to 10 in 2001
BHB Managing Director Chris Reynolds, commenting on the 2002 Sunday programme, said today:
“BHB originally sought to offer fixtures to racecourses on 23 Sunday dates but, very regrettably, the Levy Board agreed to fund just 20. In accordance with the recommendations of BHB’s Sunday Racing Review Group, these dates were arranged so as to include breaks in the programme to alleviate pressure on training yards and, in particular, stable staff.
“To achieve this respite for stable staff, it was necessary to close down some summer slots, thus removing attractive customer-friendly opportunities and replacing them with less attractive slots in the spring and autumn. It proved impossible to fill the three slots on 19th May, one of the new dates offered, and in the event racing will only take place on 19 Sundays in 2002, compared to 20 in 2001. To maintain the number of fixtures, three of the 19 dates will have four fixtures next year.
“It is very disappointing that it has not been possible to strengthen the Sunday programme, but BHB accepts that trainers and their staff have needed time to discuss how best to ensure that flexible staffing arrangements can be introduced in the future. The recommendations of the Stable Staff Resources Study Group (SSRSG), which reported in April 2000 and which were fully endorsed by BHB, are key to advances being made in this area.
“A review of progress with implementation of the recommendations of the SSRSG will be carried out at the end of 2001. BHB expects to be able to compile the 2003 Fixture List with greater flexibility in the choice of Sunday dates than has been the case for 2002.”
Other aspects of the 2002 Fixture List are detailed below:
A full programme of evening racing is again in prospect, with 163 fixtures on 77 evenings, including six summer Saturday evenings – 11th May, 1st, 22nd and 29th June, 13th July and 24th August – and the maintenance of 16 Saturday floodlit fixtures outside the summer.
A week’s gap between the Summer and Core Periods of the National Hunt season
There will be an eight-day break in National Hunt racing in 2002 between Monday 16th September and Monday 23rd September inclusive. Such a break has been a policy objective of the BHB based upon recommendations of the last National Hunt and Fixture Review Group, as field sizes tend to be least competitive during this time.
All Weather Flat fixtures in the period between Boxing Day and New Year
Four new AWT fixtures have been included between Christmas and the New Year to provide an AWT fixture on each raceday in this key period. In the past, standby AWT fixtures have been employed but these would only be activated if weather likely to disrupt racing severely was predicted, a difficult task as much as seven days in advance of the fixture.
BHB and the Levy Board have decided that programmed AWT fixtures offer certainty in maintaining racing and the levy, and are preferable to the less certain although more cost-effective technique of standby fixtures. The four extra fixtures will be:
Friday 27th December Southwell Monday 30th December Lingfield
Saturday 28th December Lingfield Tuesday 31st December Wolverhampton
Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee
The country is set to enjoy a two-day Bank Holiday on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June 2002 in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. This replaces the late Spring Bank Holiday traditionally held on the last Monday in May and gives Racing a welcome and exceptional opportunity to offer extra and ever-popular Bank Holiday fixtures. There will be eight afternoon fixtures on the Monday and five on the Tuesday.
Additional Autumn Turf Flat fixtures
Five extra fixtures have been granted in September to meet specific race planning needs. They have been allocated in 2002 as third Monday and Tuesday afternoon fixtures and will enhance opportunities at times when demand from the horse population and in particular maiden and inexperienced horses, is high. The five extra fixtures will be on the following dates and at the racecourses shown:
Monday 16th September Bath and Musselburgh Monday 23rd September Chepstow
Tuesday 17th September Salisbury Tuesday 24th September Newmarket
For further information please contact Grant Harris, BHB Assistant Racing Director,
on 020 7343 3203 or email@example.com, or Alan Delmonte, BHB Communications Manager, on 07931 701536
The full 2002 Fixture List is available from Debbie Bayley on 020 7343 3319 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org