THE BRITISH Horseracing Authority has already published its fixture list for 2018. It’s the earliest publication of the list since 2009.
Racing’s key stakeholders agreed that the 2018 fixture list should be compiled with the objectives of growing ownership, competitive racing and customer engagement in mind.
It was also agreed at the outset that the fixture list should remain broadly similar in size to 2017, on account of current field size trends and number of horses in training.
A total of 1,508 fixtures have been scheduled, 11 more than planned in 2017. Almost 40% are over jumps, 23% all-weather and 37% are flat turf meetings.
By betting session, there will be 1,096 afternoon fixtures (19 fewer than 2017) and 412 evening fixtures (30 more than 2017).
A week-long jumping break has been introduced after Sandown’s finale meeting in April, with the new jumps season starting on the following Saturday afternoon.
A small number of additional fixtures have been programmed in customer-friendly slots on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout summer with the aim of increasing attendances.
Around 20 Monday and Tuesday afternoon fixtures, capable of being staged under floodlights in the winter, will have a later start time as a twilight fixture to support changes to the betting market.
At the time of year when the available horse population means that flat eliminations are at their highest, twilight fixtures will be staged on Monday evenings in September and October.
With a view to continuing strengthening Sunday racing, an incentive fund will offer support for the staging of a fixture worth at least £70,000.
Almost £10 million of Levy funding is being targeted at mid and lower-tier racing through increases to prize money, supported by a new appearance money scheme and race incentive fund.
As a consequence, most races in Britain (with a small number of exceptions depending on race type) will now be run with a total race value of at least £6,000 from 2018.
It is also the intention that the Plus 10 Bonus Scheme will receive a boost in 2018 with around £300,000 of revenue being invested to support returns to three-year-old staying horses, aligning the scheme with the broader, industry objective to encourage the breeding and racing of stayers.
Finally, the minimum value of National Hunt Flat races will be increased to £3,500 from £2,400.
Search ‘fixture list’ on www.theirishfield.ie to see the full 2018 fixture list for Britain.Click here to see the full UK 2018 fixture list