BHB today publishes a landmark Fixture List for 2006 which reflects substantial investment and innovation in British Racing. Next year’s programme sees further expansion in the volume of racing in response to the growing demands of the sport’s many customers.
The strategic modernisation of the Fixture List includes scheduled racing on new tracks and the outcome of the inaugural auctioning for slots of over 180 fixtures, which brought racecourses into direct competition for racing opportunities for the first time.
The key aspects of the 2006 Fixture List are:
• 1,391 programmed fixtures, an increase of 42 (+3%) on 2005
• 518 separate betting sessions, up 6% on the 487 in 2005, enabling British Racing to compete aggressively for market share in the betting market
• 229 evening fixtures on 120 different evenings (2005: 220 and 116 respectively)
• 139 fixtures on 48 Sunday dates (2005: 129 and 46)
• 50 Regional Racing Fixtures (reduced from 78 in 2005), all funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board
• 40 new “Twilight” (late afternoon) Flat fixtures to be run under floodlights in October, November and December, a reflection of both the demands of the existing horse population and the increasing investment in new racecourses with floodlighting facilities. “Matinee” (late morning) Flat fixtures, of which 15 were programmed in 2005, have been discontinued, with “Twilight” fixtures expected to generate more betting turnover and levy
Three brand new All Weather Tracks (AWT) have been allocated fixtures next year. The completely new AWT venue at Great Leighs has 24 fixtures, with Kempton Park’s AWT staging 49 racedays (in addition to Kempton’s 5 Jump fixtures on Turf) and Newbury’s AWT racing twice (plus the course’s 18 Flat Turf and 11 Jump Turf fixtures).
In total, 546 Jump fixtures have been programmed (up 11 on 2005), a further increase on the 525 minimum recommended by the BHB National Hunt Review in 1998.
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said: “The 2006 Fixture List is historic in a number of ways. It represents a significant step forward in the sport’s modernisation, with fixtures at the first completely new racecourse in Britain since 1927, plus racing on two other new All Weather surfaces at existing tracks. Over 180 fixtures are the result of the first bidding process, there is a substantial programme of Twilight fixtures – made possible by there being three courses with floodlights – and the total number of fixtures is at a record high. Racing should be proud of what has been achieved for next year.”
The full 2006 Fixture List can be downloaded from BHB Reports