The British Horseracing Board today publishes its Fixture List for 2007, which marks a further advance in Racing’s modernisation programme. The Fixture List is designed to meet and balance the demands of all sectors of the sport, including its varied customers.
The key features of the 2007 Fixture List are:
• 1415 fixtures, an increase of 24 (1.72%) on 2006
• 543 individual betting sessions, up 25 (4.8%) on 2006
• 287 evening fixtures on 178 evenings (2006: 229 and 120 respectively)
• Of these evening fixtures, 68 will take place under floodlights during the Autumn/Winter, with racing every Wednesday to Saturday from 1st September
• 144 fixtures on 51 Sunday dates (2006: 139 and 48 respectively)
• 4 “Twilight” Fixtures in January
• The integration of Class 7 races from Regional Racing into standard BHB Flat fixtures
The total number of fixtures is divided into 1,203 Racecourse Fixtures and 211 BHB Fixtures. Of the latter figure, 195 fixtures were auctioned in a competitive bidding process in which 39 racecourses successfully bid for fixtures. A number of changes were made to the process – both in terms of procedure and its online software – following its introduction for the 2006 Fixture List, and overall some £1.37m was raised for the Development Fund, which supports races that serve a particular race planning role. There will also be one Self-Funded fixture in 2007, at Musselburgh on Saturday 2nd June.
The Turf Flat season will commence on Saturday 31st March at Newcastle, with the leading races from the Lincoln meeting being staged on one day. For the first time, there will be a 27-day gap between the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National Meeting, with the latter pushed back two weeks from its traditional slot.
In total, 544 Jump fixtures are programmed, representing 38.5% of the Fixture List. The number remains significantly higher than the 525 recommended by BHB’s National Hunt review of 1998 as a minimum to sustain and encourage Jump racing.
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said: “Our objectives for the 2007 Fixture List included incorporating floodlit autumn and winter evening fixtures, the integration of Class 7 races rather than continuing to stage Regional Fixtures, and providing an enhanced bidding process for racecourses to compete for BHB Fixtures.
“With four evening Flat fixtures a week from September through to the end of the year, not only will we be providing increased betting opportunities for British Racing in Licensed Betting Offices, legislation permitting, but also the annual problems of demand outweighing supply for the connections of Flat horses at this time of year should be eased considerably.
“BHB remains keen to work with the Racecourse Association to find means of incorporating even greater competition into the fixture allocation process for 2008 in order to assist racecourses in satisfying their commercial aspirations wherever possible.”
To download the 2007 Fixture List in a variety of formats, click here