Commenting on Sheikh Mohamme?_x0019_s speech given at last nigh4_x0019_s Gimcrack Dinner, BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said today:
“British Racing has a responsibility to pay close attention to the thought-provoking address of Sheikh Mohammed, who is such an innovator and who has given so much to our sport. He articulates a number of the challenges we face which can only be resolved by co-operation and goodwill among all sectors of our highly interdependent industry.
“As he identified, much progress has been made by BHB in improving Racing’s financial position since his Gimcrack speech in 1997. For this commendation we are appreciative.
“But it is also important that there should be agreement about how this additional financial prosperity is equitably shared. As we have said before, BHB’s Future Funding Plan provided just the sort of solution to which Sheikh Mohammed alluded.
“That Plan proposed the division of Racing’s incremental income in agreed proportions. Adherence to the allocation formula, which was key to the Plan, of 40% prize money, 40% racecourses and 20% central expenditure would have enabled Racing to work together, free of the sectional in-fighting which has characterised the sport in recent months.
“It is vital, as Sheikh Mohammed stated, that prize money remains a key priority, not just to ensure a fair return for owners, whose contribution helps underpin the sport, but to provide essential income for other recipients of prize money – trainers, jockeys and stable staff.
“Stable staff are, of course, essential to Racing. They have so often been the unsung and undervalued heroes of the sport although BHB has always sought to take their interests into account in the Fixture List compilation process each year.
“In addition, BHB’s Stable Staff Resources Study Group has, in conjunction with the British Horseracing Training Board, the Racing Schools, trainers and others, put in place initiatives to improve recruitment and retention rates.
“But we recognise that much remains to be done. The Racing Review Committee has spent a great deal of time on this area and it is envisaged that a number of recommendations will be announced in due course which will significantly increase the attractiveness of a career in Racing for many more people.”