The programming of over 60 high-value 2023 developmental races was announced by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Wednesday.
Consisting of maidens and novices with purses between £30,000-£50,000, the races will be funded by the BHA, Darley, Juddmonte, and the hosting racecourses. The objective of the prize-money boost is two-fold, with the aims of supporting horses at the beginning of their careers combined with supporting the domestic breeding industry and ensuring more quality young horses are retained to race in the UK. This initiative is intended to be the first step on the path towards a substantial enhancement of the values of Flat maiden and novice races, with discussions ongoing about further improvements for 2024 and beyond.
The races, run over a range of racecourses both large and small across Britain, are as follows:
- 20 x £30,000 2yo restricted maiden and novice races: supported by Juddmonte
- 21 x £30,000 2yo open maiden and novice races: supported by the BHA Development Fund
- 22 x £30,000-£50,000 3yo/3yo+ open maiden and novice races: supported by Darley and the BHA Development Fund
The highest-value races will be held over longer distances, in an effort to continue the production of quality stayers in Britain, while other races will have additional prize-money available for a range of horses, including less expensive horses and more affordable homebreds, also providing a boost for smaller owners and breeders. The full list of 63 races can be viewed here.
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA, said, “Well-funded development races provide an opportunity to boost returns to owners in the early stages of their horse’s career, thereby potentially supporting the yearling market and, in doing so, assisting breeders at all levels.
“Juddmonte and Darley have been huge supporters of British Racing for decades and we are extremely grateful to them both for their financial assistance towards supporting this important part of the race programme. We look forward to working with them and other parties so that we can build on this significant first step in future years.”
Douglas Erskine Crum, CEO of Juddmonte, said, “We are delighted to be supporting this well targeted BHA initiative to enhance the competitiveness of the British racing and breeding industries. It is an effective kick-start of a long-term plan to enhance prize money substantially for developmental races, with all the benefits that will follow for breeders and owners.
“It is the right place to start for the British racing industry to become more competitive with other major breeding and racing jurisdictions around the world and to support our own breeders and owners.”
Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions for Darley, said, “For many years Darley has worked to support breeders through sponsorship and this new development fund initiative is doing just that, as well as setting a new improved prize-money level for maiden races.
“This, combined with our contribution to the EBF, demonstrates how we can work together for the benefit of racing and are delighted to be involved.”