Please find below a number of reminders and updates in relation to ongoing changes to the race programme.
Reminder: changes to Flat handicap qualification from 1 January
As previously announced, the changes made to flat handicap requirements following the resumption of racing to help more horses become eligible for a rating after two runs will be coming to an end on 31 December 2020.
From 1 January with the exception of horses that won their first start, twice-raced horses that qualified for a handicap mark under the 2020 two-run criteria will not be eligible for a rating for races staged from 1 January 2021 onwards. In such cases, the previously awarded mark will no longer apply, and these horses will be required to run for a third time before being eligible for a handicap rating. Horses that win their first start will continue to be awarded a rating following their second start.
Please note, it remains the case that horses must run at least three times to qualify for more valuable handicaps (Total Race Value of £45,000 or more).
Race programmes for additional fixtures
14 additional fixtures were recently announced in order to generate revenues and provide additional opportunities for participants. Race conditions, times and other fixture information for the fixtures up to 1 December are now available via the Racing admin site and the Racing Calendar.
Full details of fixtures at Southwell, Chelmsford City and Wolverhampton on 6,7 and 8 December will be published by 27 November. Details of the fixtures at Lingfield Park, Kempton Park and Newcastle on 13, 14 and 15 December respectively will be published by 4 December.
Details for Bangor’s jump fixture on 20 December will be published by Monday 7 December.
Changes to Appearance Money Scheme – Chases
As previously announced, when the AMS returned from 1 September it was confirmed a trial would be conducted in eligible steeple chases, involving making payments to the full field subject to horses meeting minimum rating requirements.
The trial has now been concluded and from 1 December, horses rated 73 or below will not qualify for Appearance Money when running in Steeplechases.
The introduction of payments to the whole field came about following concerns raised in the Horse Welfare Board’s strategy around requiring horses to complete in Chases to qualify for payments. A minimum rating requirement has formed part of previous appearance money schemes in which all runners are potentially eligible for payments and this has therefore been introduced to complement the extension of payments to all horses.
Programme Book 1
Indexes for the period January-April 2021 will be released on 24 November 2020, with programmes available via the Racing admin site from 14 December. Owners and trainers are reminded that between January and March this will include a programme of 0-50 Classified races at a full range of distances. As previously communicated, these races are intended to provide opportunities for lower grade horses at a time of the year when there is greater capacity to stage them.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, particularly the ongoing national lockdown, it has not been possible to programme the number of Amateur Races that would normally be seen in the autumn, with no races confined to amateur riders currently taking place. The BHA will continue to work with the AJA to provide a programme of races when it becomes possible to do so.