Litigant: winner of last year’s November Handicap
PICTURE: Getty Images
THE Flat trainers’ championship will run from January 1 to December 31 this year, reverting to its original format, the National Trainers Federation (NTF) has announced.
It was last run over that period in 2010 but was moved to finish on the final day of the turf Flat season, which is in November.
The NTF said that running the championship over the course of the calendar year is “most logical” and “recognises all performances by all trainers throughout a period that is more meaningful and relevant to trainers, the public and the media”.
Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the NTF, said: “There has been much debate about the championships in recent years and Flat trainers were keen to establish a simplified format that was a true reflection of the Flat racing season and the races for which trainers compete.
“Reverting to the original format achieves this. We know it won’t satisfy everyone but it is the most logical format in the context of a sporting competition.”
The jockeys’ championship starts on Qipco 2,000 Guineas day and finishes on British Champions Day but such an arrangement would not suit trainers, according to the NTF.
“For all championships to end on the same day in 2016, the Flat trainers’ championship would have to end on British Champions Day. The NTF considers this to be unsatisfactory because it omits some significant races on turf including Group races at Doncaster and Newbury,” the NTF statement read.
“If the Flat trainers’ championship does not end on British Champions Day, there is no compelling reason to continue with a Flat trainers’ championship ending on the last day of the Flat turf season.”
Season already started
The NTF acknowledges that winners in November and December 2015 will not count towards this year’s championship but point out such an omission will only be a one-off occurence.
“Although commencing the new format on January 1, 2016 omits performances in November and December 2015, this is for one year only and these figures were recognised in the 2015-16 all-weather trainers’ championship,” the NTF explained.
‘Last time the format will change’
Speaking on behalf of the NTF’s Flat committee, Ralph Beckett said: “As all horses’ official birthdays are on January 1, it makes no sense to have November and December’s two-year-old statistics shunted into the following year, as happens under the current format. The NTF Flat committee has agreed that this is the last time the format will change.”
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