Update from the BHA’s Flat Pattern Committee

13 Jan 2023 BHA Features

  • Immediate changes aim to improve performance of Black Type races in 2023
  • Longer-term measures planned for 2024 and beyond to boost competitiveness and enhance prize money in Britain’s premier contests

The British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Flat Pattern Committee has today confirmed initial changes to the Flat Pattern and Listed Programme for 2023.

Focusing primarily on a reduction in the number of Group 3 and Listed races, these are the first in a series of changes to help improve the performance of Britain’s Black Type races – with further programme adjustments for 2023 to be announced next month.

These short-term measures aim to boost field sizes and increase the competitiveness of Black Type races in 2023, while more comprehensive plans are developed – through the sport’s industry strategy – to refine and strengthen the race programme for 2024 and beyond.

This longer-term work is focusing on the structure, presentation, and promotion of British racing, including our flagship races, to enhance prize money, increase competition and support the retention of high-quality horses in Britain.

The following Group 3 and Listed races will no longer form part of the Pattern and Listed programme for 2023:

  • Listed Leisure Stakes, Windsor Racecourse (6f, 3yo+, May)
  • Listed Royal Windsor Stakes, Windsor racecourse (8f, 3yo+, May)
  • Listed Fairway Stakes, Newmarket Racecourse (10f, 3yo, May)
  • Listed Buckhounds Stakes, Ascot Racecourse (12f, 4yo+, May)
  • Listed Midsummer Stakes, Windsor Racecourse (8f, 3yo+, July)
  • Listed Denford Stakes, Newbury Racecourse (7f, 2yo, August)
  • Group 3 Supreme Stakes, Goodwood Racecourse (7f, 3yo+, August)
  • Group 3 March Stakes, Goodwood Racecourse (14f, 3yo, August)
  • Group 3 Legacy Cup Stakes, Newbury Racecourse (11f, 3yo+, September)

As confirmed previously, the Listed European Free Handicap Stakes, Newmarket Racecourse (7f, 3yo, April) and the Listed King Richard III Stakes, Leicester Racecourse (7f, 4yo+, April) will also not be staged in 2023.

An adjustment to the winter All Weather programme will see the Listed Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park (10f, 4yo+, February) amended to an 8f contest, and will be renamed as the Listed Tandridge Stakes (4 February). The race will continue to be open to 4yo+ horses and aims to improve the spread of higher-grade races at this time of the year.

BHA Director of International Racing and Racing Development, Ruth Quinn, said: “The quality and competitiveness of our Flat Pattern and Listed Programme is fundamental, not just to long-term reputation and sustainability of British racing, but also to the strength of the thoroughbred breed.

“Work is already underway, as part of the industry’s long-term strategy, to deliver substantive improvements to the way our racing is structured, presented and promoted.

“This includes continually enhancing the performance of our Black Type programme under both codes, and ensuring that the best horses continue to be bred, owned, trained, and raced in Britain.

“The changes to the programme for 2023 are the first of a series of measures, which aim to help address some of the immediate challenges in our Black Type contests, particularly around field sizes and race competitiveness, ahead of further, more fundamental, improvements – with racecourses involved in the process from the outset – for 2024 and beyond.

“Work also continues through the Jump Pattern Committee to deliver a package of measures in time for the 2023/24 season, with changes to the Jump Pattern and Listed programme to be announced prior to the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.”

About the Flat Pattern Committee

The BHA’s Flat Pattern Committee advises and makes recommendations to the BHA Board on matters relating to improving the programme of Flat Pattern and Listed races.

Flat Pattern Committee members:

Lydia Hislop (C)
Emma Berry
Gina Bryce
Andy Clifton
Simon Crisford
William Haggas
Rishi Persad
Maddy Playle
Ruth Quinn
Julian Richmond-Watson
Nick Smith
Nicholas Wrigley

Notes to editors:

1. For more information, see the Committees page of the BHA website.