Declaration of reserves and non-runners will be 'more timely'
Changes to the rules relating to the declaration of non-runners and reserves at race meetings in Ireland are being introduced by the Turf Club and will come into effect next week, starting with the meeting at Tipperary on Thursday.
All declarations of non-runners and reserves will have to be made only to the Turf Club's non-runner line no later than an hour and a half before the first race, whereas previously the cut-off time for such declarations was an hour before the first race.
Under the revised system there will be an obligation to declare reserves either to run or as non-runners, whereas under the current system there is an obligation to declare them only as runners.
Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club, said yesterday: "We have changed the rule to make information relating to non-runners and reserves available to everyone on a more timely basis.
"It will not now be necessary for trainers to ring trainers of reserves to say that a horse is not going to run. A trainer of a reserve will be able simply to check the website and see if there are any non-runners and plan accordingly. It should help the situation and also benefit the betting industry.
Rule change should help
"On the Flat in 2016, only 60 per cent of reserves who could have run actually ran, while for jumps races the figure was only 54 per cent and the rule change should help improve this situation."
Riders for reserves who are declared as runners must also be declared on the Turf Club non-runner line no later than an hour and a half before the first race.
Failure to do so will mean the reserve in question will automatically be withdrawn. Automatic withdrawal will also apply should a reserve not be declared a runner or should it be a non-runner.
Egan added: "We're not proposing to fine trainers for non-compliance when the rule clicks into place, but if there is a high level of non-compliance fines will be introduced."