The 3-year-old stayers’ programme is Britain will receive a boost over the next three years as the British Horseracing Authority announced it will commit a significant portion of its £1.5-million BHA Development Fund to that division. The funds are in addition to the £9.7-million committed to targeting mid- and lower-tier racing for 2018 from additional Levy income. The investment includes a series of support payments for 3-year-old middle distance and staying races, where payments would decrease gradually on a sliding scale and are in exchange for a commitment to stage the contests at a higher value until at least 2020. Sixty-two races for the staying horse population will be supported by the Development Fund over the next three years, of which 25 are upgrades of existing races and eight are new contests. The BHA Development Fund will invest £1,894,500 in these races between 2018 and 2020. Racecourses have made commitments to increase the prizemoney for the G2 Queen’s Vase, G3 Bahrain Trophy, G3 Gordon S., Listed March S. and Listed Noel Murless S.
Ruth Quinn, Director of International Racing Racing Development at the BHA, said, “These targeted enhancements supported by the BHA Development Fund for the next three years mark a considerable, industry-wide commitment to improve the staying programme further, particularly for the 3-year-old, which has been identified as the next priority in our wider project to safeguard the future of the staying horse. The BHA Development Fund also continues to be utilised to support other long-term objectives, with further prize money boosts announced for the programme for jumping mares and novice chases, showing our continued commitment in these key areas.”