The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has suspended the right to withdraw horses via self-certificate of 13 flat trainers, as a result of relatively high non-runner rates.
A number of trainers were warned in August that they had until an April 1 cut off to ensure rates were below the prescribed threshold, currently set at 14% on the flat and 12% over jumps (set to fall to 10% from the end of June).
Those affected have a 14 day window within which to query the data, although unless data is shown to be inaccurate the current sanctions are to remain in place, however, they are still able to withdraw hoses for valid reasons, via vet’s certificates, without penalty.
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA, explained: “It is essential that we take these steps to reduce the number of non-runners. They are not good for our sport, its fans or its participants.
“All of the bodies who took part in the recent review agreed that we should do this by targeting those trainers who are consistently generating a high rate of non-runners, rather than putting in place measures that unfairly affect or restrict those trainers who operate within the spirit of the rules.
“What the data has shown is that the vast majority of trainers are able to operate well beneath the thresholds without any issue.
“We accept there are a number of unavoidable and valid reasons for horses not being able to run but it is very pleasing to see the non-runner rate within both codes has fallen so far this year.
“Of course the welfare of horses must continue to come first and we fully expect that, if a horse is not fit to run, the affected trainers would withdraw it via a vet’s certificate with no penalty.”
Recommendations follow the non-runners review which had the objective of decreasing non-runner rates in British racing, with all parties involved agreeing that measures to reduce the appropriate numbers should target trainers whose non-runner rates were particularly high.
Early indications point to a positive effect, with non runner rates reducing 14%, from 6.6% of declarations to 5.7%, for the first three months of 2018 compared to 2017.