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17th August 2012

17-August-2012 0:00
in General
by Admin

I appreciate that you cannot please everyone, but I do just get the feeling that the bookmakers are always the first to complain, and racing tends to bend over backwards to help them out every time. The BHA's decision to change the face of Novice Chases this season is an accident waiting to happen......

The bookmakers and the racecourses have complained about the small numbers of horses running in novice chases as there is no each way betting, and the racecourses don't get paid. However, the way the program book is set out has always been for the horses benefit, and now its for the bookmakers benefit. The BHA have:

  1. Cut the numbers of novice chases by 20%.
  2. Required all horses switching to chasing to run in at least one novice chase.
  3. Introduced three new valuable novice handicap chases at the end of the season.

I agree that there is always need for a compromise, and feel that to cut the number of novice chases would have answered the bookmakers issues, but to make every horse run in a novice chase is just ridiculous, and asking for problems. You will end up getting 12 runners in these chases - 6 will have a hurdle rating of 120+ and will be competitive, and 6 will have a hurdle rating of 100 or less, and will be tailed off at best, or falling in front of the 120+ horses and causing accidents. Will that make the bookmakers happy? It will cost the owners of the lesser rated horses time, money, a wasted run, and a risk of injury with no gain whatsoever......  Surely the BHA should be trying to help the owners here, and not the bookmakers?