BHA unveils Novice changes
August 16, 2012 09:27:02 UK
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced a series of changes to the Novice Chase programme and race conditions which it hopes will address the trend of declining field sizes.
Three new £60,000 races open to horses who have run in at least two weight-for-age Novices' or Beginners' Chases will provide three competitive, end-of-season contests while also stimulating Novices' Chase field sizes throughout the course of the year.
The issue of field sizes in Novices' Chases is one we have been concerned about for some time. Ruth Quinn
The trial period will run from October until the end of the 2012/13 Jump season, at which point the scheme will be assessed against several yardsticks including its effect on field size and betting turnover.
The trial and its accompanying measures follow a review including data collated over the past four seasons, which confirmed a marked decline in the number of runners in Novices' Chases.
Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the BHA said: "The issue of field sizes in Novices' Chases is one we have been concerned about for some time. Figures show a decline of 18 per cent in field sizes since the 2007-08 season for all Novices' Chases, and an increase of 50 per cent in the number of races attracting only four runners or fewer.
"We hope the three new, valuable finals in April will serve as a worthwhile incentive for connections of horses to run in at least two weight-for-age Novices' Chases."
Tasha Power, Operations Executive for the Levy Board, said: "The Levy Board is contributing £90,000 towards this initiative. It will provide three competitive contests and underpin high quality Novice Chasing through the season."
Meanwhile, Motivado is 4.50 to win the Betfred Ebor while Camborne is at 8.00 and Qahriman can be backed at 8.00.
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