The British Horseracing Authority, has recently sought to challenge non-runners who disrupt the sport daily, with huge changes to be put in place to ensure the quality of racing is kept to a maximum. Changes that have been discussed consist of, publishing league tables to show trainer and non-runner rates over the past year once each quarter has finished.
With these changes, any trainer that exceeds a total of 100 non-runner declarations, will be barred from being able to use self-certificates for a full year. For non-runners with a certificate from a vet, will be disallowed to race for up to two days once their missed race has taken place
The constructed tables will be available to view from October 2017, and the rules to suspend those who self-certify, will be in affect soon after 20th March 2018.
These rules, that have been designed to challenge abusers who self-certify frequently, have been created with discussion from all governing bodies within the sport; Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), Racecourse Association (RCA), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF) and finally the National Trainers Federation (NTF).
The BHA are extremely keen in protecting the additional international revenues, which are produced by using 48-hour declarations for all flat races; there has been a rise in revenue of £6million each year in 2006, to almost £16 million a year.
Since 48-hour declarations have been in existence, no-runner have started to become problematic for the sport, especially in flat racing. Implications of non-runners include, competitiveness of races, negative impacts of jockeys and owners, and creates uncertainty within betting markets.
The British Horseracing Authority chief operating officer, Richard Wayman, stated that “While there are valid or unavoidable reasons for non-runners, it is important that, as regulator, the BHA does all it can to reduce the number to a minimum”
“It is important trainers can withdraw horses for valid veterinary or welfare reasons, or if there has been a change in the going. But it must not be misused”
“We must not unfairly penalise the clear majority who operate within the spirit of the rules.”
Non-runners leave jockeys with close to empty pockets for that day too, due to late withdrawals, but the BHA has suggested that a new rule will be made for all non-running jockeys to receive a full payment as compensation.