The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has pledged to boost the prize funding of over 60 ‘development races’ during 2023.
The commitment has been made by the BHA and breeding farms Darley and Juddmonte to enhance prize money for horses at the beginning of their careers and forms part of the BHA’s long-term sustainability programme for UK racing.
In total 63 maiden races will receive extra prize money, in which the BHA plans to hold 20 x £30K fixtures reserved for 2-year-old novice studs, supported by Juddmont.
The BHA will further host 21 ‘open Maiden’ fixtures funded by its Development Fund. Whilst the breeding farm of Darley will support the highest value races in the range £30K-to-£50K – reserved for 3yo / + 3yo studs.
The pledge is recognised as “the first step on the path towards a substantial enhancement of the values of Flat maiden and novice races, with discussions ongoing about further improvements for 2024 and beyond.”
The planned development races will begin in April 2023, and will be hosted at a range of racecourses, both large and small, across the length and breadth of the UK.
Increased prize money for novice races was deemed essential to support the continued production of quality stayers in Britain, with the aim of maintaining variety in the horse population.
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA, said: “Well-funded development races provide an opportunity to boost returns to owners in the early stages of their horse’s career, thereby potentially supporting the yearling market and, in doing so, assisting breeders at all levels.
“Juddmonte and Darley have been huge supporters of British Racing for decades and we are extremely grateful to them both for their financial assistance towards supporting this important part of the race programme. We look forward to working with them and other parties so that we can build on this significant first step in future years.”