Chelmsford to run richest race on Saturday but concerns raised over field sizes
Chelmsford will run its richest ever race this weekend but small fields for two more healthy prizes on offer on Thursday are set to trigger talks with the BHA over their merit.
Just nine runners have been declared for the two races worth a combined £65,000.
Racecourse manager Fraser Garrity said: "We are very much at the forefront of trying to put on new races if the demand is there from horsemen.
"We always try to put a broad range of races on and that includes races where the pool of horses is smaller, because you have to put restrictions or conditions on like three-year-olds only. We know those are never really going to get big fields.
"I guess when they [field sizes] get down to the fours and fives we do have to have a look at them with the BHA about whether the demand is really there at this time of year."
Saturday's £100,000 contest over seven furlongs has attracted 37 entries, including five-time course winner Lucymai, last year's winner Masham Star and Britannia winner Ostilio.
Rupert Arnold, chairman of the National Trainers Federation, said: "Chelmsford City Racecourse has been consistently generous with its prize-money and it’s great to see it's now staging a first £100,000 race. It deserves to be supported by trainers and horsemen in general."
Garrity said: "We’re really pleased with that level of entry. I’m sure it will get a maximum amount of declarations. There aren’t many courses that put on £100,000 handicaps and it’s a very important milestone for us."
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