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Syndicates body does not want owners left behind when racing returns

Syndicate owners have viewed the BHA's response as being good overall
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Racing needs to ensure it does everything possible to maximise the ownership experience when the sport returns behind closed doors, the Racehorse Syndicates Association (RSA) said on Saturday.

Simon Double, racing manager for Solario Racing and RSA committee member, relayed that there had been a generally positive view of the BHA’s leadership through the coronavirus crisis during a conference call between members on Thursday.

Those represented, including leading syndicates Highclere Racing, Hot To Trot Racing and Million In Mind, also applauded the increased efforts being made by trainers to engage with owners while lockdown restrictions have been in place.

However, Double insisted extra endeavours had to be made when racing got the go-ahead, and added the views of the RSA had been shared with the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), which represents the interests of owners on the resumption of racing group.

He said: “It was a generally upbeat conversation. The feeling among those in the call was that the BHA have been handling the process well. 

“What we want to make sure is that as much is possible is done for syndicate owners when racing restarts, especially with owners not being able to go to the races or even potentially see their horses at the yards either.”

Measures the RSA would like to see introduced include owners being supplied with digital racecards, removal of restrictions on private recordings of pre-/post-race interviews with trainers and jockeys, and free day-pass access to subscription race channels.

Such concessions from racing are viewed as adequate compensation for the reductions in prize-money that are being forecast due to the lack of spectators at racecourses and the drying up of media rights payments as a result of betting shop closures.

Double, who is standing for election to the ROA board this year, said: “There was definitely a belief initially that owners were left behind in comparison to other members of the sport, but we feel more included and better catered for now. 

“We’re not after a cash handout and we know that prize-money, regrettably, will come down but it was not the focus of the meeting by any means and there is an understanding as to why it will happen.”

He added: “When racing resumes, that is really the start of the process of recovery and not the end of it.

“There are lots of challenges ahead, but we’re confident that as syndicators we can continue to retain and attract owners into the sport – provided changes take place, and that there is an industry-wide plan to drive that forward.”

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When racing resumes, that is really the start of the process of recovery and not the end of it
E.W. Terms