17 April: Three existing fixtures are set to begin at 12 noon in the coming weeks in a bid to assess the appeal to both betting shop and online customers for lunchtime British racing.
The initiative, supported by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, is designed to capitalise on increased footfall in betting shops during lunchtimes, while also providing betting opportunities for digital customers at a time when more of them may have the opportunity to place bets and watch racing.
The idea behind the trial is to try and maximise the revenue which can be generated from betting during the lunchtime period, with three different courses taking part. The three fixtures, which are already scheduled to take place in Wednesday afternoon slots, are at Southwell on 1 May, Newton Abbot on 29 May and Nottingham on 5 June.
The first race for all three fixtures will now be scheduled for 12 noon and with 30 minute gaps between each race, there will be four races scheduled to take place at each fixture before 2pm.
Andy Clifton, Racing Director at the Racecourse Association, said: “Given the way in which our industry is funded, putting racing on at times when customers have an appetite to bet on it is and always has been important, but that also needs to be balanced with the pressures on horsemen, the desire of racing fans to attend in person and our ability to promote the sport to both existing and potential new audiences.
“On that basis, we are grateful to Southwell, Newton Abbot and Nottingham for taking part in this latest trial of lunchtime racing, on which the betting data and the feedback from horsemen, racecourses and customers will be extremely informative”
9 April: Brendan Powell, who has trained over 600 winners under both codes and rode Rhyme ‘n’ Reason to victory in the 1988 Grand National, has ended 19-year training career.
7 April: ITV Racing’s coverage of this year’s Grand National achieved a peak audience of 9.6 million compared to last year’s 8.5m. The average was 5.43m, a 39% share of the terrestrial TV market. All three days coverage was up on 2018, and Saturday’s Opening Show average figure was 242,000, a 71% increase on last year.
2 April: The temporary injunction granted by the High Court to ban ticket touts operating in the vicinity of Cheltenham Racecourse has been made permanent. Clerk of the Course Ian Renton said: “This landmark ruling follows the success of the temporary injunction the courts put in place for the current season, which has reduced the incidence of touts at the racecourse to an absolute minimum
2 April: Annamarie Phelps, Vice-Chair of the British Olympic Committee and a former Olympic rower, has been appointed as the new Chair of the British Horseracing Authority. She will take up the post on 1 June. Annamarie is an experienced senior figure in British sport. She has worked for a variety of governing bodies dealing with complex political and regulatory issues and was the Chair of British Rowing until last year. She chaired the independent review into British Cycling in 2017. Annamarie competed for Britain at the Atlanta Games in 1996 in the women’s eight and was a world champion in 1993. She was awarded a CBE for services to rowing in 2016. This is her first role in horseracing. Annamarie Phelps said: “I relish the opportunity to work in British Racing. Everything I’ve seen and heard tells me that racing people are passionate about their sport, proud of its magnificent heritage and unified by a love of horses.
“I am looking forward to working with new colleagues at the BHA and across the sport. My priority is to help with the immediate challenges we face, but I am excited by the opportunities for racing to grow and flourish in the years ahead. I believe that collaboration is the key to success and am privileged to be given a chance to play my part.”
Annamarie was selected unanimously by the BHA’s Nominations Committee, which includes representatives nominated by racecourses and horsemen. Her appointment was approved by the BHA’s shareholders and the Board.
1 April: Injury has forced Group 1 winning Flat jockey Fran Berry to retire from the saddle with immediate effect. Berry, 38, suffered spinal injuries in a fall at Wolverhampton in January and, followong consultation with his surgeon, he has been advised to quit race-riding. A jockey 23 years, will now pursue other ventures, including media work. His Group 1 win came on Pathfork for Jessica Harrington in the National Stakes and won last year’s Chester Cup on Magic Circle and was awarded the Silver Saddle in the Sherga Cup at Ascot.
29 March: Former BetBright customers that had Ante Post bets (excluding Cheltenham Festival) voided when BetBright ceased offering gambling services on 5 March 2019, may choose to have their bets reinstated with BetVictor by 4 April. To do so, customers will be required to have a valid account with BetVictor
28 March: The Horserace Betting Levy Board has agreed an expenditure budget of £99.3m for 2019, a significant increase on the £85.3m budgeted for 2018. This includes a one-off £6.5m prize money grant for the 12-month period starting on 1 April 2019 in response to a submission from Racing. This set out that all racecourses were expecting to see a reduction in media rights income in 2019. While racecourses would absorb the majority of any loss, cumulative racecourse contributions to prize money were forecast to fall by £6.5m in 2019 compared to 2018. The one-off grant to prize money by the Board is to provide stability in the total prize money sum offered by British Racing to participants in 2019, in an environment of greater uncertainty regarding media rights income to the sport, principally from the retail betting sector.
27 March: Due to a temporary facilities issue, currently it is not possible for Market Rasen to broadcast pictures of today’s racing. Engineers have been called to the racecourse to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. Start of racing may be delayed – scheduled time of first race 2.10 .
26 March: 188Bet Closure Announcement:
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25 March: BHA issue findings of the disciplinary panel which overturned the 10-day ban given to amateur rider Declan Lavery at the Cheltenham Festival. These are the main points from the discussion and panel decision:
“Mr Naylor (BHA Director of Integrity & Regulation), contended that JERRYSBACK (IRE) should have been pulled up after it had jumped the second last fence. It had come almost to a halt, and that factor allied to the rapid loss of ground to the leaders on the approach to the fence should have conveyed to the rider that the horse was exhausted and had no more to give. That the horse was able to achieve sufficient momentum to jump the last fence was not, argued Mr Naylor, really relevant, because what the rider was doing in confronting the fence was subjecting the horse to an unnecessary risk to its welfare, and the Rule was directed at eliminating or at least reducing that risk. A rider should not as a rule be able to rely on events happening after he should have pulled up…
“The Panel cannot accept Mr Naylor’s submission that in deciding whether a horse had more to giv limited, if any, attention should be given to what happens after the critical moment when it is alleged the horse should have been pulled up. In many, perhaps in most cases, whether a horse at a certain stage has, or has not, more to give can only, or at least best, be judged by how it runs or performs afterwards. There will be occasions when the horse demonstrates that it is exhausted by, for example, refusing to jump the next fence, and the jockey may be adjudged at fault in asking the horse to jump. But when the jockey’s assessment, which often has to be made instantaneously, is that the horse is not exhausted and that is confirmed by the manner in which the horse jumps and runs on, that is surely evidence that must be considered and can be relied upon.
“As invited by Mr Mac Neice (representing Declan Lavery), we have given close attention to how JERRYSBACK (IRE) ran and performed after the second last fence. It got going again after a clumsy jump which almost totally removed its impetus and then jumped the last cleanly and willingly without being ridden hard into the fence. After the fence on the run to the finish there was a visible degree of acceleration which saw off the challenge of the 4th placed horse. In our view that was not the performance of a horse with no more to give. Furthermore though we will not attempt a definition of what constitutes “no more to give” we accept the burden of Mr Mac Neice’s submission that it requires a level of fatigue or exhaustion which would be likely to be detected by vets examining the horse at the finish specifically for the purpose of assessing whether its physical condition gives rise to concern and needs immediate treatment.
In the circumstances we are quite unable to find that Mr Lavery has been in breach of Rule (D)45.3. The finding of the Cheltenham Stewards and the suspension imposed must be quashed. Mr Lavery’s deposit will be returned.”
21 March: Newmarket Racecourses has agreed a new three-year partnership with Tattersalls that will see the auction house expand its sponsorship portfolio at the Home of Horseracing. Tattersalls increase their presence at the Moët & Chandon July Festival, not only continuing their support of the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes for fillies and mares but adding the Group 2 Tattersalls July Stakes, for two-year-old colts and geldings, and the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes, a 12-furlong contest for three-year-olds and upwards.
21 March: Declan Lavery has successfully appealed against the ten-day ban he received after riding Jerrysback in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The disciplinary panel of Patrick Milmo QC, Chloe Fairley and Dr Lyn Griffiths found him not in breach of the rules, overturning the original finding and fefunding his deposit. Lavery said”I’m very relieved and didn’t think I’d done anything wrong”. Lavery was riding the Philip Hobbs-trained horse in the amateur riders’ race, finishing 47½ lengths third, and was banned for “continuing in the race when it appeared to be contrary to the horse’s welfare”.
After panel’s verdict, the BHA issued the following statement: “The BHA accepts the findings of the independent Disciplinary Panel in today’s appeal hearing. It is the view of the BHA that the Rules should be a proactive and preventative measure to avoid horses being put into a position of avoidable risk, and the stewards on the day acted in accordance with this. However, the finding of the Disciplinary Panel was that the current construct of the Rules indicate that the rider was not in breach of Rule (D)45.3.2. We will await their written reasons before commenting further on this issue. Stewards have to make immediate decisions in the midst of a sporting event. That is why an independent appeals process exists which offers a fair process for challenging stewarding decisions. A range of incidents happened during this race which the stewards had to consider. The other decisions have not been challenged at appeal. The Panel were also clear that the requirement of the Rules to pull up tired horses has primacy over the requirement to achieve the best possible placing, and that it is no justification to continue on a horse to finish placed in a race if doing so would be contrary to the horse’s welfare. This rule is 20 years old and was agreed by all groups in our sport who are represented on our Rules Committee. It has been invoked a number of times in recent years. It continues to be an important rule that demonstrates our commitment to protect the welfare of our horses. We thank Mr Lavery for the way he has conducted himself since the incident, and also trainer of the horse Philip Hobbs”.
21 March: The BHA has announced that Towcester’s fixture on 26 April has been cancelled. Bangor-on-Dee will hold an additional seven-race fixture on the same day.
20 March: Problems with lack of grass growth has meant that Ayr’s opening Flat fixture of the season on 1 April has been moved to Chelmsford. Last year’s opening Flat meeting was lost due to drainage issues. Before that, the 2017 Ayr Gold Cup fixture in September was cancelled, again because of a drainage problem.
13 March: ITV Racing’s coverage of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival attracted the biggest viewing figures since records started in 2003. Live coverage peaked at 1.393m with an average of 982,000, a 13.9% share.
12 March: Forecast heavy winds have put tomorrow’s second day of the Cheltenham Festival under threat. The racecourse is saying Wednesday’s racing will hinge on at least one morning inspection, with the first scheduled at 8.00. If Wednesday’s meeting is abandoned Cheltenham will transfer the Wednesday card to Saturday. Potential wind speeds of around 50mph could place temporary structures in jeopardy. If it’s not possible to give a go-ahead to racingafter the first inspection, Cheltenham has not ruled out delaying when racegoers are allowed to enter the racecourse.
8 March: The Curragh fixture on 13 April, which was to be first after the track’s major redevelopment (pictured at last year’s Irish St Leger), has been transferred to Naas. This is due to delays in the redevelopment work. Racing returning to the Curragh is now scheduled for 6 May
7 March: 888 have announced they will honour BetBright customers’ ante-post bets on the Cheltenham Festival as a gesture of goodwill after purchasing the firm this week for £15 million. BetBright customers were told yesterday that all unsettled single bets would be voided and that unsettled multiple bets with winning legs would be settled as a winning bet, with remaining unsettled legs voided.
6 March: BetBright customers have been told the bookmaker will cease trading from 11.59 tonight, leading to the voiding of all ante-post bets. On Monday it was announced that online company 888 had bought BetBright’s sports betting platform for £15 million and that the bookmaker’s brand was not expected to continue. They did not, however, acquire the the business which runs the BetBright brand and it is this part of the company which is to cease trading. Unsettled multiple bets with winning legs associated will be settled as a winning bet, with the remaining unsettled legs voided. A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said: “We have received a number of complaints about this matter and are making further inquiries.” BetBright said: “As a result of Dedsert entering into an agreement to sell its sports betting technology, customer accounts will be closing. BetBright has stopped accepting any deposits and wagers, and customers are being asked to withdraw their funds from their BetBright accounts. Any of the small number of ante-post wagers that settle beyond today, including all losing bets, will be fully refunded.” BetBright sponsorships included the BetBright Cup at the Cheltenham Festival and four races at the course on New Year’s Day, including the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase. The Prestbury Cup sponsorship will be run under the 888 name.
6 March: Gordon Elliott has said that Samcro will miss the Cheltenham Festival: “There is every chance Samcro could run again this season and there are a range of suitable races for him at other meetings, so hopefully we will see him back in action next month. Looking further ahead, we are looking forward to when he goes chasing in the autumn.”
5 March: ITV is set to continue its exclusive free-to-air coverage of racing for another four years, reports The Times, after opening talks with the Racecourse Media Group about signing an extended contract until 2024. It is understood that negotiations over a new £30m deal have reached an advanced stage, with both parties keen to agree an early renewal to the current contract, that still has 21 months left to run, in a major boost for the sport before next week’s Cheltenham Festival.
5 March: The price of the Racing Post will increase from £2.90 to £3.20 from Monday 11 March
4 March: 888, the online gaming and betting operator have bought bookmaker BetBright for £15 million. It is thought that 888, who said the purchase would enhance their “long-term prospects in the global sports betting market”, will cease to use the BetBright brand which ended advertising in the Racing Post last month. The acquisition was described as the “missing piece” in the 888 portfolio which already includes casino, roulette and bingo. The deal was worth £15m but it is not clear to what extent BetBright founder Rich Ricci will retain an interest in the business.
28 February: Arena Racing Company is set to temporarily transfer prize-money to its lower grade races to release levy board funding. The move comes after calls for a boycott of Arc tracks after it announced a reduction in prize money brought about by expected reduceed media rights caused by the closure of betting shops after minimum stakes in FOBTs were cut from £100 to £2. Arc arc a transfering £250,000 from higher quality races over the next month to increase prize money at the lower end, and it will unlock £428,000 in levy board funding it lost access to after slashing nearly £3m from its executive prize-money contribution. The temporary measures was agreed with National Trainers Federation president Ann Duffield.
26 February: Newmarket are introducing a new £120,000 bet365 Trophy, to create further opportunities for stayers at the July Festival. The race will be run over 1m6f. Prize-money in 2019 will be £10.8 million across its 39 meetings, with boosts to the value of three Pattern races. But the prize-money for the Cesarewitch is £350,00, down from £500.000, and means that plans for a £1m Cesarewitch have been abandoned.
25 February: Ed Chamberlin and Franceca Cumani of ITV Racing have been named Sports Broadcasters of the Year in the 2018 British Sports Journalism Awards. “Francesca and Ed – fresh, fun, knowledgeable and accessible. They’re a classic racing double act whose passion and insight shine through every race meeting,” said one judge.
The nominees were
Adrian Durham – talkSPORT
Ed Chamberlin & Francesca Cumani – ITV Sport
Gary Lineker – BBC Sport
Hazel Irvine – BBC Sport
Jonathan Overend – BBC Sport
Mark Pougatch – ITV Sport
Mike Wedderburn – Sky Sports New
ITV Racing were highly commended for their coverage of Royal Ascot in the live broadcast category which was won by Sky Cricket
25 February: France Galop has, this evening, issued a statement saying there has been an outbreak of equine flu in a yard in Lamorlaye, which is part of the wider Chantilly training area. The statement did not give details of the identity of the trainer, nor the number of cases or if any infected horse has raced in recent days.
Meanwhile Donald McCain’s yard has been given the all-clear following equine flu at his yard earlier this month, and his horses are free to race again.
21 February: Trainers have boycotted two races at the Arena Racing Company-owned Lingfield on Saturday in protest over prize-money. No runners were declared for the 5f novice stakes, and only Greybychoice, trained by Nick Littmoden, has been declared for the 1m novice stakes. Both races are worth £4,500. The protest is in response to Arc reducing prize-money by £3m following the cut in maximum FOBT stakes from £100 to £2 which Arc are expecting to result in betting shop closures and subsequent loss of media rights. Arc have also announced planned redundancies among its full-time staff
20 February: Eight-year-old Big Orange, winner of the 2017 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot has been retired by owners Bill and Tim Gredley after the flare-up of a leg injury – as well as the Gold Cup win, his single Group 1 victory, he raced around the world and amassed prize-money of £1.25m
19 February: Paul Nicholls trained his 3,000th when 7yo Capitaine won Taunton’s 2m0.5f handicap hurdle. It was Nicholls’ 2,960th British jumps winner to add to 11 British Flat successes, 25 Irish jump wins and four in France. On Saturday Nicholls sent out a career best eight winners.
Following hot on the heels of his career-best eight winners in a day on Saturday, Paul Nicholls secured another landmark on Tuesday when Capitaine became the 3,000th winner of the trainer’s car1.25meer.
16 February: Haydock stewards will hold inquiry into why Impulsive Star declared for Grand National trial 3.35 when vaccinations not up to date under new equine flu rules. Now 15 go
12 February: Simon Crisford reports the four horses who had previously tested positive for equine flu have now returned negative results. Further testing is to take place next week.
12 February: The BHA have announced that all 22 trainers who had runners at Ayr and were awaiting results are now cleared to run after a discussion between the BHA and its vet committee. All horses who ran at Ayr returned negative tests and the majority of other horses from those yards were also tested and all found negative
12 February: ITV Racing showing 10 races from four courses on Saturday
13.35 Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
14.10 Keltbray Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race)
14.45 Denman Steeple Chase
15.20 Betfair Hurdle
15.55 Betfair Steeple Chase
14.25 William Hill Rendlesham Hurdle Race (Grade 2)
15.35 William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)
13.45 Betway Heedyourhunch Handicap Steeple Chase
15.00 Betway Kingwell Hurdle Race (Grade 2)
13.55 Redmills Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
12 February: The BHA is planning to schedule additional alternative races to assist trainers in their preparation for upcoming major festivals for horses that may miss out on essential prep or qualifying runs in the coming ten days owing to the new vaccination requirements. The additional opportunities will be scheduled on or around the weekend of February 23, in order that horses which require vaccinations over the coming days will be eligible to run. Like all other British races they will be available only to horses who have been vaccinated within the last six months.
12 February: Sizing John, winner of the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, will not run again this season after a setback says trainer Jessica Harrington
12 February: In preparation for a return to Racing the BHA’s Racing department has identified a number of key Jump races which should be rescheduled. The identified races are based on their place in the Pattern and races which provided essential opportunities. The following races have been rescheduled:
Kingmaker Chase from Warwick to Sandown 15 February
Betfair Hurdle from Newbury to Ascot 16 February
Denman Chase from Newbury to Ascot 16 February
Listed Mares Hurdle from Warwick to Haydock 16 February
Listed Mares Chase from Exeter to Wincanton 16 February
12 February: The BHA has announced that a risk-managed return to racing will take place from Wednesday this week. After consultation with its veterinary committee, and based on the latest tests conducted by the Animal Health Trust, the BHA’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Brant Dunshea, last night confirmed that racing could resume, but only with strict biosecurity controls in place.
11 February: BHA announce racing will resume on Wednesday
11 February: Ahead of the BHA’s announcement scheduled some time after 10.30 tonight, the Irish racing body has said British horses can race in Ireland if they meet certain requirements
11February: BHA daily update regarding equine influenza case. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will make a decision later tonight as to whether racing can return in Britain on Wednesday. This decision will be made following a meeting of the industry veterinary committee. The decision will follow further assessment of the data already gathered as well as the results of the latest testing which is taking place at the Animal health Trust (AHT) today. To allow the committee to have access to the most recent evidence, it will not meet until this evening. This means that no decision should be expected before 10:30pm at the earliest. The veterinary committee includes representation from the BHA, Animal Health Trust (AHT), British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), Racecourse Association (RCA) Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) and independent expertise. Analysis is ongoing at the AHT, in line with a prioritisation plan based on the potential exposure of horses to a horse that has tested positive (for example at the fixture at Ayr on 6 Feb), or to a horse from a yard returning a positive test. Swabs will continue to be collected and tested from other horses, but some have been fast-tracked to help inform this evening’s decision making process. Separately, a specific plan is being formed as to what the clearance process will be for individual yards to return to racing. The details of this plan will be confirmed as part of the decision making process for any return to racing. Should the decision be taken to return to racing on Wednesday, declarations for any fixtures staged will be at 10am on Tuesday. The BHA would provide further updates regarding the declaration process for any fixtures staged on Thursday and beyond.
9 February: The horseracing community in Newmarket is tonight being informed that four positive tests for equine influenza have been returned this evening in vaccinated thoroughbreds at the yard of a licensed flat trainer in Newmarket. The affected yard is that of Simon Crisford, who has been named in order to ensure that the Newmarket community is aware of the yard at which an infection has been identified. No non-urgent journeys should be made to this yard – including by the media – and anyone who wishes to travel to the yard is advised to first contact the trainer’s office.
9 February: BHA update regarding equine influenza case 9 Feb 2019
The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has informed the BHA that it has received approximately 2,100 nasal swabs and tested and reported on 720. So far, other than the six at the yard of Donald McCain already identified, there have been no further positive samples returned.
This includes the swabs taken from horses at the yard of Rebecca Menzies. One horse – which tested negative – had previously been identified as suspicious and high risk after testing at a different laboratory. All these horses will remain under close surveillance, analysis of tests from the yard is ongoing and testing of the suspicious horses will be repeated.
Wider analysis is continuing with thousands more swabs expected to be received and tested over the coming days.
8 February: Jockey Robert Havlin likely to be out of action until the end of next month after breaking his collarbone and fracturing a rib in a fall at Kempton on Wednesday. He came off from the fatally injured Beehaar after a coming together with the Charlie Bennet ridden Lieutenant Conde. Bennet received a 12-day ban.
8 February: BHA update regarding equine influenza case 8 Feb 2019 BHA Features Welfare:
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has committed to providing meaningful daily updates regarding the ongoing situation in relation to the equine influenza case.
The analytical work is continuing, which involves testing of horses from a number of trainers yards across the country and seeking to isolate any issues we find in a bid to ensure that the situation is under control as much as possible, to protect the health of animals and to put racing back on the road as soon as is safely possible.
We will provide material updates with regards to any new cases and give as much information as is relevant and appropriate each day, while also respecting confidentiality and privacy of potentially affected people.
The BHA team is working closely with trainers, the NTF and other parts of racing, from who we have had excellent levels of cooperation. The Animal Health Trust is processing tests in their hundreds as quickly as possible and, alongside the project team at the BHA, is working throughout the weekend to help build an overall picture of the issue.
This process will continue over the coming days in order that an informed and evidence-based decision can be made on Monday as to whether racing can return on Wednesday. In the meantime we ask that everyone involved in the sport continues to be vigilant, restrict where possible all movements of horses and people and maintains the highest standards of biosecurity.
Of the samples that have been returned so far, three further positive results for equine influenza have been reported, all from the original affected yard. This means that in total six positive tests have been returned from the horses tested so far from this yard. Of the four horses from this yard who competed at fixtures this week, one has returned a positive sample so far – Raise A Spark, who competed at Ayr on 6 February. The test on this runner relates to a sample taken the following day, and the horse showed no clinical symptoms on raceday.
It was in anticipation of this risk that the decision was taken by the BHA to restrict movement of horses on a precautionary basis at the yards of 120 other trainers who competed at these fixtures, and to suspend racing until Wednesday at the earliest. This action was taken to mitigate the impact of any of the runners which competed at these fixtures being found to be infected by the virus.
We request that media respect that the priority of the yard in question now is to follow the necessary procedures to minimise the impact of this incident, and therefore not to contact the yard. Any queries on this matter should be directed to the BHA. The BHA would like to reiterate its thanks to the trainer for his cooperation and the responsible manner in which he has deal with this issue.
Testing of horses at the 120 yards which have been put on hold is continuing on an ongoing basis. No further positive samples have been reported as yet.
However, a separate suspicious case – which has not yet been confirmed as a positive sample – has been identified at another yard. No links have been identified between this yard and the original yard. This yard had runners at the fixtures at Newcastle on 5 February and Wolverhampton on 6 February, and as such the BHA has taken the further precautionary steps of placing all 54 yards of trainers who also had runners at these fixtures on hold and initiating testing of horses from these yards.
The BHA is working closely with the Animal Health Trust in order to manage the logistical challenge of providing sufficient swabs and handling the volume of tests being sent through the facility, considering that testing of a total of 174 yards is now taking place. It will not be possible to test every horse from every yard before the end of the weekend, but we will work with trainers to identify any priority or risk horses and ensure that they are tested. This will all form part of the picture that is built in order to assist the decisions that will be made on Monday.
8 February: BHA chief executive, Nick Rust, gave an update on the outbreak of equine flu when interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today. He said: “By Monday we’ll be in a strong position to make a definitive decision about when racing will return. I don’t know whether we’ll need a few more days or not but I strongly believe this will be for a few weeks at most because we’ve acted quickly.
“We’ve got to get a hold of the situation swiftly – if we play russian roulette with the evidence we’ve got we could have a problem for three to six months and no-one would thank us for that.
“This is a serious form of flu that debilitates horses, who are at the centre of our sport. The welfare of our horses is really paramount above all economics.
“Our worst fears are that we don’t contain it quickly, but by taking the action we have in the last couple of days we’re effectively locking down movement of racehorses and instructing trainers to take extra special precautions.
“We’re fairly confident that with swift action we will manage to restrict it, but until we know the full extent of the distribution of the virus, we won’t know where we are.Rust believes the sport has a “very good chance” of beating the flu off with preparations under way for the potential rescheduling of key races from this weekend.
“Racehorses are among the best looked after animals in the country and super athletes. They have attention from their trainers and the 14,000 people that look after them every day, as well as veterinary checks all the time, so we’re on top of this, and the reason we have discovered the equine flu is because of that care and attention.
“We’ve got a very good chance of managing this flu off and not concerned we’re facing a mutation.
“A lab in Newmarket is processing hundreds of tests now and as those results come back we start to map them to see whether horses have been infected at the races this week. Once we know whether there has been a spread or not, we’ll be in a much better position to know where racing is.
“We’re making preparations for alternative arrangements so that when racing returns there will be alternative races in place for horses who have missed prep runs for Cheltenham or Aintree.”
7 February: Five races from Naas being shown by ITV Racing on ITV4 on Saturday
13:35 Cavan Developments Maiden Hurdle
14:10 BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase
14:45 EMS Copiers Rated Novice Hurdle
15:20 O’Driscoll O’Neil Handicap Chase
15:55 Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle
7 February: British racing will not resume until 13 February at the earliest. Decision on Monday on whether or not suspension will then continue.
7 February: The BHA have put over 100 yards into lockdown for testing following the outbreak of equine flu
7 February: Trainer Donald McCain’s has confirmed that three of his horses have tested positive for equine flu, a statement released on behalf of the trainer said. “I have been aware of the recent news about equine influenza outbreaks in France and Ireland, and over the last couple of days, I have been concerned about the health status of a small number of horses in the yard. Their welfare is at the front of our minds so at my request our veterinary surgeon examined them regularly and we have followed his advice on testing and treatment. It was by following this protocol the positive results for equine flu came to light Wednesday evening”
7 February: Under the new rules coming into force in May online gambling operators must verify a customer’s age before they can deposit funds or gamble with their own money, a free bet or bonus. The same will apply to free-to-play gambling games. Previously, operators have been allowed 72 hours to undertake age verification checking.
7 February: Wolverhampton have abandoned their card on Saturday evening. Horse that tested positive for equine flu ran there earlier in week and track undertaking deep clean after which racing can’t take place for four days
7 February: Irish racing to continue as Irish horses which raced in Britain on Wednesday did not travel back and remain here in isolation yards.
7 February: Update from BHA on equine flu “We are aware that people want to know the situation as regards racing tomorrow and this weekend and we will seek to provide more clarity as soon as we are able. It is likely that any definitive decisions on whether racing can take place tomorrow will be taken later this evening.”
6 February: The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), with unanimous support of the BHA’s industry veterinary committee, has taken the decision to cancel racing at all British racecourses on Thursday 7 February 2019. This is following the BHA being informed this evening by the Animal Health Trust of three confirmed Equine Influenza positives from vaccinated horses in an active racing yard.
Horses from the infected yard have raced today at Ayr and Ludlow, potentially exposing a significant number of horses from yards across the country and in Ireland. The fact that the cases have been identified in vaccinated horses presents a cause for significant concern over welfare and the potential spread of the disease and the action to cancel racing has been viewed as necessary in order to restrict, as far as possible, the risk of further spread of the disease.
The BHA has worked quickly to identify which yards could have potentially been exposed today and identify the further actions required. The BHA is presently communicating with yards potentially exposed to ensure appropriate quarantine and biosecurity measures are put in place and horse movements restricted to avoid possible further spread of the disease.
The full extent of potential exposure is unknown and we are working quickly to understand as much as we can to assist our decision making. The BHA is working closely with the Animal Health Trust and will issue a further update tomorrow. We recommend that any trainer who has concerns about the health status of any of their horses should contact their veterinarian.
About Equine Influenza
Equine influenza is a highly infectious disease of horses, mules and donkeys occurring globally caused by strains of Influenza A virus. It is the most potentially damaging of the respiratory viruses that occur in UK equines and disease symptoms in non–immune animals include high fever, coughing and nasal discharge.
The outbreak at the infected yard follows the identification of a number of equine influenza cases across Europe and the UK, including several in vaccinated horses. Following the recent outbreaks guidance was sent to trainers to inform them that all horses which have not had a vaccination against Equine Influenza within the last six months should receive a booster vaccination, and that trainers should be extra-vigilant with biosecurity.
However, equine influenza can be highly contagious and – unlike other infectious diseases – can be airborne over reasonable distances as well as be transmitted indirectly, including via people. There are no known consequences for humans associated with exposure to the disease.
The Animal Health Trust are the equine monitoring agent for disease surveillance in the UK and information is posted on their website and twitter feeds.
6February: Trainer Gordon Elliott has been hit with a £3,000 fine for schooling in public. Braid Blue finished fifth in today’s 2m novice hurdle at Ayr where the stewards held an inquiry into its running and riding. The six-year-old was found to have stayed on under “apparent tender handling”, finishing nine lengths behind the winner Galvin, also trained by Elliott. Jockey Henry Brooke received a 14-day suspension (20 February 20 to 5 March), whilst Braid Blue cannot run for 40 days.
6 February: Jockey Charlie Bennett has been suspended for 12 days for careless riding at Kempton in an incident which caused Robert Havlin’s mount to clip heels and fall.
6 February: Chelmsford has has to postpone trials of its new turf course until the spring of next year. The delay has been caused the recent cold weather and turf racing at the Essex track is unlikely to begin until Autumn 2020 at the earliest.
6 February: The European Pattern Committee has upgraded a number of races in the Flat Black Type programme in Great Britain. The City of York Stakes, held each year at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, moves from Group 3 to Group 2. Newmarket and Chelmsford have also received enhancements to their Pattern and Listed races. Newmarket’s Pride Stakes over 10 furlongs for three-years-old and upwards fillies and mares, and the Zetland Stakes over the same distance for two-year-olds, both run in October, have been upgraded from Listed to Group 3 level. Chelmsford will now host two Listed races, with a new six-furlong contest for three-year-old fillies being added to their programme for the first time this year. Despite efforts on the part of British Racing, it was not possible to secure an upgrade to Group 1 status for the British Champions Long Distance Cup on QIPCO British Champions Day for 2019.
4 February: The penultimate fence on Cheltenham’s Old Course is being moved 10 yards up the hill, closer to the winning post and further from the bend with aim of reducing fallers. It should give horses another two strides before they meet it, but still leaving a sufficient distance before the final obstacle is encountered. The move comes after feedback from jockeys.
4 February: Changes have been made to the Cheltenham Festival running order so that conditional/amateur rider races finish the day’s card
The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 race programme
Champion Day – Tuesday, March 12 (Old Course) – prize money £1,175,000
1.30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,000
2.10pm Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade1) 1m 7f 199y £175,000
2.50pm Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f £110,000
3.30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £450,000
4.10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Grade 1)2m 3f 200y £120,000
4.50pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 44y £70,000
5.30pm National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase) (Grade 2) 3m 7f 147y £125,000
Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 13 (Old Course & Cross Country) – prize money £1,020,000
1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the Baring Bingham) 2m 5f £125,000
2.10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y £175,000
2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f £100,000
3.30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 99y £400,000
4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 3m 6f 37y £65,000
4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (registered as the Fred Winter) (Grade 3) 2m 87y £80,000
5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000
St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 14 (New Course) – prize money £1,195,000
1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (registered as the Golden Miller) 2m 3f 166y £150,000
2.10pm Pertemps Network Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y £100,000
2.50pm Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (registered as the Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) 2m 4f 127y £350,000
3.30pm Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y £325,000
4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) 2m 4f 127y £110,000
4.50pm Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 179y £90,000
5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 3m 2f £70,000
Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 15 (New Course) – prize money £1,200,000
1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y £125,000
2.10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y £100,000
2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (registered as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle) 2m 7f 213y £125,000
3.30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y £625,000
4.10pm St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y £45,000
4.50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y £110,000
5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y £70,000
4 February: From this year if a horse has already been declared to run in a race at the Cheltenham Festival it cannot be declared to run in another Festival race. The same applies if it has already run in another race over the four days.
4 February: Tomorrow’s meeting at Sedgefield has been abandoned
1 February: Afternoon update from Sandown Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper: Massive effort by Sandown team to re-cover shaded ground this afternoon now all frost and snow gone. Chase now Good to Soft, Soft places and Hurdle Soft, Heavy places. No inspection planned.
Your guide to Scilly Isles Chase https://t.co/tw4p4JeoVZ
1 February: Chelmsford is to hold an extra fixture on Monday afternoon
1 February: Tomorrow’s meeting Wetherby has been abandoned
1 February: Morning update from Sandown’s Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper: “2-3cm snow overnight. No frost in ground. Snow seems wet in nature and looks to be shifting. Will monitor improvement and update accordingly. No inspection currently planned for Friday.”
31 January: Tomorrow’s meeting at Chepstow has been abandoned
31 January: This weekend’s fixture at Musselburgh has been abandoned
31 January: Today’s meetings at Fakenham and Wincanton and tomorrow’s fixture at Catterick have been abandoned
30 January: Chelmsford is to hold an extra meeting comprising six races on Saturday afternoon as weather forecasts suggest turf racing might struggle to take place at scheduled fixtures
30 January: Today’s meetings at Leicester and Plumpton have been abandoned – Lingfield GOES AHEAD
29 January: Arena Racing Company has told it’s aproximately 650 permanent staff to expect compulsory redundancies due to lost media rights revenue from the closure of betting shops caused by the cut in maximum stakes for FOBTs, from £100 to £2. Arc had already announced a cut in its executive contribution to prize-money by £3 million in 2019 due to the changes to the sport’s funding. The Racing Post understands voluntary redundancy packages will be made available but compulsory job losses were very likely. The group, which also employs over 3,000 casual staff and runs 16 courses including Chepstow, Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle and Windsor, did not comment when contacted by the Post.
29 January: Wolverhampton will host an additional all-weather on Friday. Lingfield is holding an inspiration at 8am tomorrow for their all-weather fixture due to forecast snow and frozen ground, whilst Leicester and Plumpton also inspect in the morning. Today’s Lingfield fixture was abandoned.
25 January: Hugh McIlvanney, one of the greatest sports journalists of all time, has died, aged 84. Writing mostly for The Observer and The Sunday Times, he covered many sports over 60 year including England’s 1966 World Cup victory. His writing also featured racing and, in 2017, he received the Sir Peter O’Sullevan award.
24 January: Following the receipt of further submissions from the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and individual trainers, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has taken the decision to delay the implementation of an approved rule which requires all Jump horses to race fully shod, which was due to be introduced from 1 February. The delay is being implemented for a period of no less than six months, in order to allow for a number of actions to take place to further inform the debate on this matter. The decision to introduce this rule was based on a two-year project which included evaluation of data and consultation with representative bodies including the NTF and Professional Jockeys Association (PJA). The rule was intended to improve human and equine safety by reducing the chance of a horse slipping.
24January: In a year which saw 69 abandonments in the first six-months, 5.77m racegoers attended a racecourse in 2018, a 3% drop from 2017 according to Horserace Betting Levy Board. In 2018, 1,471 race meetings were staged with an average attendance of 3,924. This figure includes the provision of rearranged meetings to compensate those lost to the weather, and compares to an average of 4,256 in 2017, down 3.5%. It was the third year running that the figure has fallen and is nearly 8% lower than 2015. Advance ticket sales grew by 3%. Those who booked to attend more than one race meeting increased by 13%. All racecourses enjoyed an average 4% increase in attendance at what the Racecourse Association calls premium fixtures.
24 January: Today’s meetings at Fakenham and Wetherby are cancelled. More encouraging sounds are coming from Huntingdon and Doncaster who are hopeful that racing will take place on Friday.
23 January: Today’s meetings at Catterick and Hereford have been abandoned
18 January: Three horses trained by Nicky Henderson have been withdrawn from their races at Haydock due to concerns about their health. Tests have shown Brain Power, Angels Breath and Valtor to be under the weather and they have been taken out of the Unibet New One Hurdle, Sky Bet Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle and Peter Marsh Chase.
18 January: Today’s meeting at Musselburgh has been cancelled – the ground is frozen with temperatures not set to rise sufficiently.
STATEMENT FROM IAIN JARDINE RACING ON A TRAGIC INCIDENT AT THE STABLES ON TUESDAY 15 JANUARY
It is with great sadness that the Team at Iain Jardine Racing wish to report that we suffered a tragic accident on our grass gallops on Tuesday morning which has resulted in the untimely death of a member of our team, Natasha Galpin (22), as well as the loss of a horse.
16 January: The British Horseracing Authority has today confirmed that four of Southwell’s upcoming fixtures have been moved as follows
18 February – moved to Newcastle
22 February – moved to Chelmsford City
28 February – moved to Kempton Park
5 March – moved to Wolverhampton
This is because the original fixtures were due to be floodlit and there has been a delay in installing floodlights at Southwell. All four will remain evening fixtures, with race programme details and further fixture information available via the the BHA’sRacing Admin
15 January: Tom O’Brien failed to weigh in on Shaw’s Cross, trained by Paul Henderson, and was disqualified from his third place position in the 3.40 at Lingfield. The horse was 9/4 joint favourite. Fourth past the post Cougar Kid was promoted to third and took the £610 prize money. O’Brien was banned seven days for his mistake .
15January: Noel Fehily has had keyhole surgery to remove his appendix and will be out of action for what at the moment is an unknown period. Fehily gave up his mounts at Kempton on Saturday because of stomach pains, and was then rushed to hospital.
14 January: Quick Grabim and Great Field, both trained by Willie Mullins, will miss the Cheltenham Festival. Quick Grabim, who was available at around 12/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, will not run because of a stress fracture. Great Field, 20/1 for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, will miss the race as he’s not got over his last-fence fall in the Paddy’s Rewards Club ‘Sugar Paddy’ Chase at Leopardstown last month.
13 January: Corals and Ladbrokes are extending their best-odds guaranteed offer to UK and Irish betting shop customers from tomorrow. Customers will be able to take advantage of the offer from 8am each day if they have a Coral Connect or Ladbrokes Grid card. The move is seen as a way of boosting high street business to help counter the effect of the upcoming FOBT stake cut.
12 January: A large group of protesters occupied Chantilly race course for more than two hours today, resulting in five races being postponed until tomorrow morning. Four of the scheduled nine races were due to get underway. An estimated group 500-strong group were part of the ‘gilets jaunes’, or yellow jackets, who initially protested against a proposed petrol tax rise but has grown into an anti-government movement.
11 January: The Irish Field has reported Irish trainers John Oxx and Patrick Prendergast, who have adjoining stables at the Curragh, are to join forces ahead of the 2019 Flat season. The operation will be run in Oxx’s name.
11 January: Replays of Irish races run before 1 January are avilable again to broadcasters and websites. Agreement between At The Races (who held the rights), Horse Racing Ireland, Racing TV (who took over rights to cover Irish racing) and SIS (who broered the new rights deal), was reached this morning. A row broke out when arrangements were not in place regarding archived Irish races but the parties involved have now issued a joint statement: “We are pleased that all parties have reached an agreement which will enable the Irish digital archive to be restored to websites.
9 January: Gigginstown House Stud racing manager Eddie O’Leary has announced that Samcro has been found to have a lung infection and will undertake a course of antibiotics for ten days with participation at Cheltenham appearing very unlikely. Described as “a quite deep infection”.
8 January: A hairline fracture to a hind leg incurred whilst winning at Plumpton on Monday means Guillaume Macaire’s Master Dino will not run in the JLT Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
7 January: Towcester’s 13 February fixture has been moved to Musselburgh the BHA has announced. The fixture will comprise six-races, with race programme details and further fixture information available via the Racing Admin website in due course.
4 January: Champion apprentice Jason Watson has been taken to hospital following a fall at Kempton. His mount Teresita Alvarez clipped heels shortly after the start and jettisoned him into the ground. He initially knelt but then lay down. He was stretchered off the course after about ten minutes and taken to hospital. He talked to doctors and could move his arms and legs.
3 January: Willie Mullins has announced that Next Destination has been ruled out for the season having suffered a setback which the trainer says is not a serious problem. A winner of two Grade 1 races as a novice hurdler last season, the 6yo was 10-1 for the RSA Chase. He will go chasing next season.
3 January: Nicky Henderson has said that, following a disappointing run in the King George VI Chase, Might Bite is to have his palate cauterised today as was the case two years ago and will not run again before the Cheltenham Gold Cup
3 January: Racing goes ahead at Ludlow today
2 January: Ludlow is holding an inspection at 6.45 tomorrow to see if their fixture can take place
2 January: Bear’s Affair, the runner-up in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree last April, could be awarded the race according to the horse’s connections who understand that winner Balnaslow’s is to lose the race, The Guardian has reported. Owner George Barlow told a group of reporters at Cheltenham that he had been told to expect he would be awarded the Aintree race. “The Irish horse is being thrown out, apparently. But I haven’t officially been told. It’s common knowledge in the racing world but they haven’t actually told me. I might get a letter any day. I’ve been waiting 230 days for the official result.” Graham McKeever, who has trained Balnaslow for the past two years, gave a short response when asked about possible disqualification. “I don’t really want to talk to you about it,” he replied. “Thanks for the call.”
1 January: Sizing Tennessee, winner of Newbury’s Ladbrokes Trophy, has a leg injury and will not race again this year. Trainer Colin Tizzard reportd that the 11yo is sore and that the injury happened almost straight after Newbury.
1 January: Paul Nicholls, who started training in 1991, today became the tenth winningmost trainer in Britain with 2,951 victories following Greaneteen winning at Exeter.
January: Trainer Stuart Edmunds has said Maria’s Benefit, available at around 20-1 for the Racing Post Arkle, will not race again this season