BHA: public must have full confidence in betting markets after Altior anger
The BHA on Thursday underlined how important it is that punters had "full confidence" in betting markets after widespread consternation – largely expressed on social media – over the circumstances surrounding the announcement on Wednesday evening that Altior would miss next month’s Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown with a wind issue.
The news was revealed on Nicky Henderson's Twitter account shortly before a prepared statement on the website of bookmaker Unibet, for whom Henderson is an ambassador, shortly after 7pm.
The ‘ambassador’ relationship some trainers and jockeys have with bookmakers, and the fact Henderson had not previously reported any issue with Altior despite revealing on Wednesday evening the horse had first shown a potential issue when galloping on Saturday, drew criticism on Twitter, after which the BHA released a statement when asked for a response by the Racing Post.
“While we wouldn’t comment on individual cases, we are aware there are important issues around public perception when it comes to the processes around horses being withdrawn from major races with ante-post betting markets, and also the relationships between licensed personnel and betting operators. We have the ability to act on such cases if concerns come to light,” read the statement.
In the public domain
It continued: “It is important that the betting public have full confidence in betting markets, including ante-post markets.
"They should be able to place a bet in the knowledge that the information in the public domain at that time is accurate and fairly available to all.”
The BHA added it is to meet with the Gambling Commission in the near future and plans are also afoot to roll out a programme of integrity education.
The statement added: “As part of our ongoing commitment to integrity, we had already tabled a meeting with the Gambling Commission to discuss general betting issues that will include ante-post betting.
"We are also embarking on a significant programme of integrity education that will be rolled out to the sport’s participants in the coming months, which will cover the importance of fair, accurate information entering the public domain in the interests of the betting public.”
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