- Confirmation of recent announcement that Jump races will be advertised using exact yardages, alongside traditional race distances, from 1 June
- New methodology mirrors that used on Flat courses
- Allows for more accurate measurement of impact of rail movements
As recently announced by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), in conjunction with the Racecourse Association (RCA), as of 1 June all Jump race distances will now be advertised using both the traditional description – rounded to the nearest half furlong – alongside a new, exact ‘baseline’ distance, described to the exact yardage.
Jump racecourses were previously measured along the mid-point of the course using a surveyors wheel, but under the agreed new methodology have been measured along a line 2yds off the innermost running rail position and professionally surveyed to the nearest yard. The project was instigated to achieve greater accuracy in Jump race distances and reflect the methodology already used at Flat tracks.
The change in methodology means that, in many cases, race distance descriptions will be shorter when compared to the old system of measurement as a result of using an inner line rather than the middle of the track naturally leading to race descriptions being shorter.
In light of the new measuring system some racecourses have amended race distances or will move starts to reflect advertised race distances. A full list of amended race distances was published in the Racing Calendar on 7 May and is available on the BHA website (https://www.britishhorseracing.com/resource-centre/racecourse/) and for racing professionals on the Racing Admin website.
The new methodology will also allow for more accurate measurement of the impact of rail movements, which will continue to be published via the race info section of the BHA website (https://www.britishhorseracing.com/race-info/fixtures/racecards-entries/).
Notes to editors:
1. The recent announcement regarding the remeasuring of Jump racecourses can be found here: https://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/the-bha-confirms-changes-to-jump-race-distance-measurements-implemented-from-1-june/.
2. At the time of publication Wetherby racecourse have not completed their survey due to their racing schedule. Once the survey is completed any distance changes/start movements will be updated on the various websites.
Cheltenham’s Cross Country course has been re-measured by the surveyors with the results also to be published in due course.
3. Rule (F)41.4 requires the minimum distance of a Hurdle/Chase race to be no less than two miles. Until now, on the old methodology, courses that measure at least 1m 7f and 166yds satisfy this requirement as they are rounded to the nearest half furlong. Under the new methodology there are 11 courses with a minimum trip whose description is slightly less than two miles. All options for repositioning the starts in question have been explored, however where that hasn’t been possible, the racecourses in question have been granted dispensation from this Rule on the basis that the historical use of the start has been approved.The list of courses and race distances with dispensation for Rule (F)41.4 are:
- Ascot 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 152yds
- Ayr 2m Chase – 1m 7f 112yds
- Catterick 2m Chase – 1m 7f 145yds, 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 156yds
- Haydock Park 2m Chase (Inner) – 1m 7f 157yds, 2m Hurdle (Normal and Brush) – 1m 7f 144yds
- Hexham 2m Chase – 1m 7f 133yds
- Huntingdon 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 121yds
- Leicester 2m Hurdle – 1m7f 113yds
- Musselburgh 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 124yds
- Sandown 2m Chase – 1m 7f 119yds
- Southwell 2m Chase – 1m 7f 153yds, 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 153yds
- Wincanton 2m Chase – 1m 7f 149yds, 2m Hurdle – 1m 7f 65yd