Publishing its 2019 Fixture List, British Racing has outlined a slight increase in the number of race meetings in 2019.
The announcement comes after a unanimous agreement from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA) and Horsemen’s Group, as well as the approval by the BHA Board.
It has emphasised that the focus in compiling the 2019 Fixture List has been to bring in measures to assist those who work in the sport whilst simultaneously aligning the fixture schedule to the changing needs of the betting industry.
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the BHA commented: “Producing a Fixture List which strikes the right balance between sufficient support for all those who work so hard in racing, opportunities and rewards for owners and a compelling betting product to grow vital revenues for the sport has been a cross-industry effort.
“We hope that the 2019 Fixture List gives racing’s participants and customer groups confidence that the sport is working together in their best interests, and its early publication will allow the industry, racecourses and bookmakers adequate time to plan for next year.”
The policies governing the compilation of the 2019 Fixture List were set out earlier this year, and led to a number of new initiatives including breaks for Flat participants in March and November and all floodlit fixtures between January to mid-April and September to December having a final race time of no later than 8:30pm to help jockeys and racing staff.
These measures aim to support jockeys and racing staff and are designed to help alleviate some of the demands that the Fixture List might place on their physical and mental wellbeing through extensive travel and late working hours.
Additionally, to benefit both retail and digital betting operators, measures have been agreed to schedule floodlit cards to try and provide a more continuous and consistent betting product throughout the course of afternoon and evening racing, as well as the scheduling of a trial of 15 additional floodlit fixtures in the autumn to test the popularity of staging two such fixtures on the same evening with the betting public.
These initiatives are partly in response to the fact that over half of all betting on British racing is now placed remotely and that the Fixture List must to an extent be tailored to meet the needs of that audience if the sport is to grow.
Andy Clifton, Racing Director at the RCA, added: “The production of the 2019 Fixture List has been a great example of the strength of the tripartite structure of British Racing.
“The end result is a fixture list which balances the very different requirements of sections of the racing and betting industries as well as it can, and we look forward to continuing that process in the years to come, to the benefit of the sport as a whole.”
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners’ Association and nominated representative of the Horsemen’s Group, also said: “The culmination of the 2019 Fixture List process produced a balanced fixture list with due rewards and opportunities for all those who invest in British racing. The Tripartite structure was seen at its best, delivering a Fixture List with the interest of the whole industry at its core.
“Balancing the interests of all of racing’s stakeholders through the process is not always straightforward and so it is with great confidence that we look forward to 2019 and continuing to work together for the benefit of the whole sport.”
Key details from the 2019 fixture list:
- A total of 1,511 fixtures have been scheduled, 3 more than were originally scheduled in 2018
- Ratio of fixtures in 2019 – Jump: 39.4%, Flat Turf 37.3%, All Weather 23.2% (2018: Jump: 39.7%, Flat Turf 37.7%, All Weather 22.6%)
- 915 Flat fixtures scheduled (14 more than in 2017). Of these fixtures, 564 are Flat Turf fixtures (five fewer than 2018) while 351 are All Weather fixtures (10 more than originally scheduled in 2018)
- 596 Jump fixtures scheduled (two fewer than 2018)
- By betting session, there will be 1,081 afternoon fixtures (15 fewer than 2018) and 430 evening fixtures (18 more than 2018).