The British Horseracing Board today published the Fixture List for 2000.
The centrepiece of the new Fixture List will be a continuous programme of 14 consecutive Sunday racedays next summer from 4th June to 3rd September. Racing will take place on a further 6 Sundays, including 2nd January 2000. It is expected that at least one meeting on the majority of Sundays will be televised.
A total of 162 evening fixtures are scheduled on 76 evenings, including six Saturday evenings during the summer on 13th, 20th and 27th May, 1st July, 19th and 26th August. Floodlit fixtures on a further 16 Saturday evenings outside the summer period are maintained.
The number of criteria breaks, of which 19 are allowed in the Levy Board’s Fixture Criteria for funding purposes, has been reduced from 6 in 1999 to 4 in 2000.
In approving the Fixture List for next year, the Board has also agreed to undertake a comprehensive review of the fixture allocation process prior to the development of the List for 2001.
BHB Chief Executive Tristram Ricketts said: “”The Board is delighted to have reached unanimous agreement on the Fixture List for 2000. Only by adopting a more customer-friendly approach to fixtures will Racing attract the racegoer and punter of the future, thereby increasing both levy and racecourse income. We are grateful for the support of the Levy Board, who should benefit from over £1m in additional income.
“”The expansion of Sunday racing which lies at the heart of Fixture List 2000 is a crucial element in our self-help strategy, and an important step towards our goal of making racing the national summer sport.
“”There could be no clearer demonstration of the Board’s attention to the interests of the betting industry and the punter than the reduction in criteria breaks to a record low level.””