29 Sep 2003 Pre-2014 Releases

A total of 76 recommendations for the improvement of the Racing Product are made in Part One of the report of the BHB Racing Review Committee, published today.

Underpinning the Committee’s proposals are six key aims:

• Re-establish the consumer’s faith in the integrity of the sport

• Put in place an improved meritocracy system

• Reverse Racing’s loss of market share of betting and maximise Racing’s income from betting

• Ensure that all classes of horse are provided with racing opportunities rather than suffer elimination from the system, on condition that they are rewarded according to their merit

• Sustain the diversity of British Racing

• Maintain and develop the British Breeding Industry

Recommendations in Part One of the report cover the eight elements of the Racing Product:

• Fixtures

• Race Planning

• Handicaps

• Prize Money

• Appearance Money

• Race Entry and Declaration

• National Hunt Racing

• The British Breeding Industry

The Committee recommends the introduction of a new structure for the Racing Product, which will re-establish the consumer’s belief in its integrity through the creation of a true meritocracy on the basis of:

• The creation of 3 Tier Racing – Premier Racing, National Racing and Regional Racing

• The introduction of a 5 Class system for the Flat where each Class approximates to a 10-15lb range

• The narrowing of the handicap bands from up to 30lbs to 10-15lbs for all but a very small number of Flat handicaps

• The establishment of substantial prize money differentials between each Class

• Significant changes to the handicapping regulations.

The Chairman of the Committee, BHB Chairman Peter Savill, commented:

“I firmly believe that the structure that we have recommended is the blueprint for the future health of British Racing in the 21st century. By putting in place a true meritocracy, the consumer’s faith in the integrity of our sport can be re-established.

“It is now up to us to persuade the Office of Fair Trading that this structure is in the best interests of the consumer, whom the OFT is tasked with protecting.”