Phil Smith, Senior Jumps Handicapper since 1998, is to succeed Nigel Gray as the British Horseracing Board’s Head of Handicapping. He will assume the role upon Gray’s departure on 19th January 2007.
Smith has been with BHB since 1995, and will lead the team of 12 handicappers, one of whom is currently being recruited. Over 50 applications have been received for the post to date, ahead of today’s deadline.
Phil Smith said: “I am delighted and excited to be appointed Head of Handicapping. I began rating horses in 1970 having been enthralled by Nijinsky’s Derby victory and it is a great honour 36 years later to be following in the footsteps of my racing hero, Geoffrey Gibbs.
“Domestically, I know that our outstanding team will continue to produce competitive and tightly contested handicaps, for both Flat and Jump racing, to the highest professional standards. We will be regularly evaluating and improving our handicapping methodology and I will ensure that we continue to provide an effective and efficient service to the industry.
“Whilst continuing my involvement in Jump racing, I will also be aiming to continue Nigel Gray’s unstinting efforts in putting Britain at the forefront of international Flat handicapping.”
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said: “Phil is a tremendous asset to BHB, with a very strong public profile. His natural leadership skills and boundless appetite for strategic issues will see him take the handicapping team from strength to strength.”