Weekly Round UpFebruary 28, 2016
Unforseen an un-raced three year old out of Group 3 winning Distinctive by leading American Sire Sky Mesa
An interesting week, fairly routine for the horses with no runners but a fascinating National Trainers Federation AGM on Thursday at theTurf Club in London. The procedural part of the meeting is never the most exciting event, most of the more interesting decisions and discussions happen at regional trainers meeting and are then carried forward to the relevant committees. There is always, however, an interesting guest speaker. This year it was Martin Cruddace CEO of ARC who own a large group of racecourses. There has been a noticeable change in ARC since Martin took over at the helm. He spoke on three central themes: Authorised Betting Partners, ARC’s commercial strategy; and the relationship with trainers.
Martin wants ARC to be in regular dialogue with trainers about facilities on its racecourses, their race programmes and prize money and other aspects that will encourage trainers to run horses at ARC racecourses. Martin aims to create a virtuous circle, whereby investment in prize money and facilities used by horsemen encourages more runners. More runners means more competitive racing, boosting attendances, betting turnover and therefore revenue to the racecourse and racing.
Martin explained ARC’s leading role with Jockey Club Racecourses in establishing the Authorised Betting Partner (ABP) scheme which aims to protect the long term finances of racing. By rejecting sponsorship from bookmakers that don’t contribute to racings finance for their offshore activities this block of racecourses is taking a short term hit in order to create a better future funding platform for racing.
It would be nice for some of the large independent racecourses, (Goodwood, York and Ascot) who have so far failed to support this initiative to do so. They hold a lot of the marquee events for the sport and the sponsorship is a lucrative source of revenue for many the prize funds for those events. However, they seem to fail to realise that their actions do not support the grass roots of the sport in this instance. Their businesses may thrive in the short term as the big bookmakers invest more through sponsorship with them, however in the long term they are killing the grass roots of the sport. The small tracks that are the base of the sport need to survive and are only going to do so if they can provide sufficient returns to racehorse owners that they can continue their involvement in the sport. This can only be achieved by the bookmakers contributing to the prize fund for racing.
We would also encourage those of you who like a bet to support those bookmakers who do support giving a contribution towards racing. So to help you know which of those companies to support we provide you with the following information.
British Racing has funding relationships in place with the following offshore remote betting operators:
In addition, there are a number of betting operators that remain onshore (and intend to continue to do so) and who therefore pay the Levy at the higher statutory rate. We appreciate and value their ongoing commitment to making an elevated contribution to British Racing from their retail and remote businesses. The following betting operators are onshore and have agreements in place with British Racing for the duration of the ABP term:
- Geoff Banks
- Star Sports
- Blue Riband Bet
- Jack Pearson Ltd
Trimoulet working at dawn on Thursday
On Saturday morning it was nice to catch up with Sharon Strange and her husband Paul who came to visit Hilltop Ranger and also Mutineer, horses that she has shares in through the Diskovery Partnership and Ontoawinner respectively.