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Concerns over prize-money

The Horsemen's Group, which negotiated minimum prize-money levels, wants racecourses to stop staging cards on which all the races are at the lowest value.

Reacting to complaints about prize-money levels from leading trainers Richard Hannon and William Haggas, chairman Philip Freedman said: "I think the complaint isn't so much races being run to the very basement of the agreed levels, but rather entire fixtures at whichevery race is run for the minimum.

"It's certainly an issue and something we're looking to address for 2018, when there's more money to distribute."

He added: "Trainers generally look to have several runners on a card, but when there's not a single race to encourage you to go it can result in trainers deciding not to have any runners.

"If you look at Easter Sunday in particular it is one of the most expensive days of the year for getting horses to the course, with the overtime you have to pay staff and lorry drivers, so I can completely understand trainers looking at a card like that and putting a line through it."

Freedman, who also wants to see minimum values raised, said: "I wouldn't have thought choosing to run entire cards at minimum values would be in the own commercial interests of courses, especially when the new media rights deal comes in and they have to attract a certain number of runners."

Minimum values for all classes of races were last raised in April 2015.

12 April 2017

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