down cross right results icon premium content video video hollow icon audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner arrow-down
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo unibet logo betfair logo skybet logo tote logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers:
  • View offer
    £20 RISK FREE FIRST BET
    Claim this offer
    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with Sky Bet and get £20 in free bets when you place a £5 bet. First single and EW bet only. Odds of 1-1 or greater. 2x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further T&Cs apply. 18+
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code P30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Money back as a bonus up to £40
    Claim this offer
    Money back as a bonus up to £40 if your first racing bet loses + £10 casino bonus. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min odds of 2-5 (1.40), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    GET UP TO £100 IN FREE BETS
    Claim this offer
    New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    £10 risk-free first bet
    Claim this offer
    Place your first bet on Pools and if it loses we'll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first bet added to the betslip. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. E-wallet deposit restrictions apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim this offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with Ladbrokes and place £5 of bets, you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with Sky Bet and get £20 in free bets when you place a £5 bet. First single and EW bet only. Odds of 1-1 or greater. 2x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further T&Cs apply. 18+
  • View offer
    UP TO £50 IN FREE SPORTS BETS
    Claim this offer
    Place a single £10 Sportsbook bet and get money back as a free bet if it loses.There are x5 Free Bets available. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10. Only deposits made via Credit/Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with Ladbrokes and place £10 in bets and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+ New UK+Ire customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £10 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1-2 = 4 x £10 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim this offer
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code W40, bet £10 and get £40 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    UP TO £50 IN FREE SPORTS BETS
    Claim this offer
    Place a single £10 Sportsbook bet and get money back as a free bet if it loses. There are x5 Free Bets available. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10. Only deposits made via Credit/Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim this offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

Two-year-old trial extended to end of the year

Ralph Beckett: "Air Pilot continues to run at a top level and I think he will go well, and Dolphin Vista should be competitive."
1 of 1

It was greeted with scepticism when launched but a trial to convert the bulk of two-year-old maiden races into novice contests will now be rolled out for the whole of 2017.

Many feared the move would be exploited by trainers with horses hoovering up multiple races, but instead field sizes grew and starting prices increased.

The trial, which ran from the start of the Flat turf season to July last year, will now continue for the whole of 2017 – including all-weather races after the end of the Flat turf season – when 442 races, or 82 per cent of maidens, will become novice contests, adding to the 80 per cent before July, when nurseries start.

There will also be changes to the handicapping system under the BHA scheme, with two-year-olds now needing to win twice rather than once before being allocated a handicap mark entitling them to compete in a nursery, in which they still qualify after three runs whatever the result.

Fairer system

The measures have the unanimous support of the Racing Group – a cross-industry representative body that makes recommendations on the racing programme outside of the Pattern – and seek to address a long-held concern that two-year-olds who win in the early part of the season, before the introduction of nurseries, have very few opportunities to develop.

Further changes include the two-year-old handicap ratings being published before the beginning of the programme of nurseries, while the rule preventing a once-raced winner rated 81 or above, or a twice-raced winner rated 86 or above, from running in a handicap has been removed.

Richard Wayman, BHA chief operating officer, said: “We were very encouraged by the success of the trial in 2016 and the feedback we received from many horsemen. That feedback included a clear consensus that, as part of a wider package of measures, the trial would be even more effective if it was extended to the full year.

“The conversion of maiden races to novices provided more opportunities for two-year-olds and improved field sizes without any impact on the competitiveness of races.

“The extension of the novice programme means lightly raced winners will now have plenty of opportunities without having to run in handicaps, and the revised qualifying criteria will mean handicappers would have more evidence to accurately assess and rate two-year-olds, thereby reducing the risk of a lightly raced horse being significantly under or overrated.”

The more evidence the better

BHA deputy head of handicapping Dominic Gardiner-Hill said: “We appreciate trainers and owners will often want a mark to be allocated to their horses as soon as possible. However, it is our job to uphold the integrity of handicaps by trying to ensure horses are entered off a fair mark.

"This hasn’t always been easy as we have had to allocate marks to two-year-olds on the basis of limited evidence. The more evidence we have upon which to base these decisions the better in the long run for all owners, trainers and, in particular, the betting public.”

There will also be a 50 per cent increase in the share of auction races within the two-year-old novice and maiden programme due to concerns raised by trainers that the lack of opportunities was forcing them to run horses in open company where they were struggling to compete. This will be achieved by converting some existing open maiden and open novice, as well as median auction races, into auction races.

An auction cap in median auction races and increasing opportunities at seven and eight furlongs in the autumn, with a corresponding reduction in races over sprint distances, will also be introduced.

Change of heart

Trainer Ralph Beckett, a critic of the original proposals, said: “The extension of this trial to cover the whole two-year-old programme is an obvious step based on its success in 2016.

“The nursery handicapping changes should make it transparent for all involved, enable the handicappers to assess horses accurately and hence benefit horsemen, while the increased number of auction races is based on statistical analysis in order to make best use of the horse population, and give opportunities for all.”

In the period of the trial in 2016, 75 previous winners ran again, compared to 35 in 2015. Of those 75 winners, 27 per cent won a further race in this period, against 23 per cent in 2015.

Average field sizes in novice races rose from 5.08 to 7.84. The extra competitiveness was also reflected in winning SPs, with the average SP of a maiden winner nearly 10-1, and just over 13-2 in novices.

The conversion of maiden races to novices provided more opportunities for two-year-olds and improved field sizes
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Boylesport
RaceBets