Racing boycott sees fields slashed in Britain

Lingfield will see just 17 runners over six races on Wednesday

 

Fontwell and Southwell are the latest tracks to be hit as trainers appear to have followed through on their threat of further boycott action against Arena Racing Company-owned venues. A total of 17 runners will contest six races at Lingfield on Wednesday with Fontwell attracting just 27 runners for six cards. Southwell’s six events on Thursday have drawn just 20 contenders.

Trainers had signalled their intention to take action over three days this week as they continue to battle with ARC over the operator’s decision to cut back on its contributions to prize money at its 16 tracks nationwide. It was announced in December that changes would be made as ARC prepares for an expected shortfall in the levy because of anticipated betting-shop closures following the Government’s decision to lower the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to £2.

This decision has been met with dismay by many trainers, owners and jockeys, and the situation came to a head last month when two races at Lingfield were boycotted - with no runners declared in one and Nick Littmoden’s Greybychoice enjoying a walkover in another.

Another race at Sedgefield on Sunday was reduced to a walkover, but there appeared to have been a positive development on Saturday evening when ARC and the National Trainers Federation issued a joint-statement - in which ARC committed to unlocking extra funds for all eligible races in March.

That announcement came after entries were made for Lingfield’s Wednesday fixture, with 40 possibles duly reduced to just 17 runners at Monday’s declaration deadline. Only five jockeys are prepared to ride on the card, with a number of riders issuing a rallying call as they throw their weight behind the protest.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.