Ascot: one of the independent tracks that has signed up to the agreementPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
New prize-money deals could add £5m says BHA
BRITISH racing could be in line for a prize-money lift of £5 million next year after news emerged of the first contractual agreements to be signed by 27 racecourses.
Those racecourses to have signed include all those run by The Jockey Club, such as Aintree, Cheltenham and Newmarket, Scottish Racing, and a number of independent courses but not yet Arena Leisure, controller of around 40 per cent of the fixture list.
The other party to the new agreements is the Horsemen's Group, representing owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and stable staff, and which, together with the BHA, on Sunday announced what was described as a significant development for the sport and its participants.
The signing of prize-money agreements signals a change from a racecourse's own contribution to prize-money being a discretionary payment to a contractual minimum commitment between racecourses and horsemen.
The agreements mark the creation of commercial partnerships, underpinned by the BHA, between racecourses and horsemen in which the sport's participants are guaranteed a share in betting-related media revenue generated by racecourses.
Among independent courses there are large and small signatories, ranging from Ascot and Goodwood to Bangor and Salisbury.
The statement issued through the BHA stated: "In the event of all racecourses signing up, it is estimated that this would result in an uplift of almost £5 million in prize-money contribution by racecourses compared to 2013."
In addition, Horsemen's Group chairman Philip Freedman, said: "These are landmark agreements for the sport and we view their introduction as a welcome first step towards delivering improved returns for horsemen.
"Until now a racecourse's contribution to prize-money has been totally discretionary and even though racecourse revenues have grown significantly in recent years, it has been left to them to decide how much should be passed on to the participants."
The new deals start on January 1 and will herald the introduction of premier and standard tiers of agreement.
A premier-tier racecourse will contribute at least 40 per cent of income from the sale of rights specific to betting into prize-money. A standard-tier racecourse contributes no less than 33 per cent.
|Racecourses/groups who have signed||Tier|
|Chester Bangor Group||Premier|
|Jockey Club Group||Premier|