THE Restricted Trainers Association [RTA] has welcomed the programming of four races this season confined to trainers who have had 20 winners or fewer in the previous jumps season.

Two have already been run and the third in the series will be staged at Limerick on November 22nd. All four races are maiden hurdles sponsored by J.P. McManus’s Adare Manor and are confined to claiming professional riders.

John Fitzgerald of the RTA said: “It’s a good initiative. There are races for different categories of horses and for different types of jockeys, but nothing for smaller trainers, or indeed owners.

“A few years ago we asked for some races to be confined to restricted trainers but that wasn’t well received so we suggested the races could be for any trainer who hasn’t had a set number of winners in that season or calendar year. The races they have created only rules out four or five top trainers but that’s a start. You only have to look at the maiden hurdles in Listowel this week to see how hard it is for smaller yards to compete.”