Plans for proposed All Weather Tracks (AWT) at existing racecourses Newmarket (Rowley Mile) and Sedgefield have been approved by BHB. The racecourses are eligible to participate in the fixture allocation process for these AWT tracks for 2005, should they wish to do so.
BHB’s New Racecourses Committee (NRC) made its recommendations to the BHB Board following an appraisal of each application against BHB’s Guidelines for the Development of New Racecourses, issued in October 2003.
The NRC received one other application, which was also for an AWT at an existing racecourse, Newbury. Following discussion between the NRC and Newbury, the BHB Board was advised that Newbury did not wish to progress its application for 2005. Any resubmitted application will be considered by BHB later this year with a proposed start date of 2006.
BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols, who chaired the NRC, said: “BHB considered that the construction of additional facilities at both Newmarket and Sedgefield would benefit British Racing. The sport is vibrant and growing and the willingness to invest substantial sums should give Racing every confidence in itself.”
1. The Jockey Club has discretionary powers under Rule 1A(i) of the Rules of Racing to grant a Racecourse Licence. Provided that Newmarket and Sedgefield’s tracks are built in accordance with plans and specifications provided to the NRC and reviewed by the Jockey Club Inspectorate, it is anticipated that a Licence will be granted.
2. The Levy Board has indicated that it will not be willing to make funding available in 2005 for any fixtures additional to the 1,270 it supported in 2004. BHB has agreed to provide funding for up to 80 Regional Flat fixtures in 2005, compared to 70 in 2004. All Flat courses will be able to submit applications for these fixtures via the fixture allocation process. Racecourses may also apply to transfer existing fixtures from within their own Racecourse Group or purchase fixtures (other than those which have been granted discretionally from BHB) from other racecourses.
3. In June 2003, BHB gave the go-ahead to a brand new racecourse at Great Leighs subject to it being granted a licence by the Jockey Club. Discussions are continuing between all parties regarding a planned start date of racing at the venue.