The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that a trial of a new transparent entry and declaration process will take place at All Weather fixtures this winter following approval from the BHA Racing Group and the sport’s Executive Committee.
The new trial is designed to investigate whether making the current entry and declaration process fully transparent and removing the re-opening and re-offering of races can bring about improvements in efficiency that would benefit participants.
The current system does not provide any visibility to trainers of which other horses are entering or declaring until after the stage has closed. At the entry stage 5% of races are re-opened and at the declaration stage, 31% of races are re-offered with the intent of attracting more runners. In order for the re-offering of races to be effective, it is necessary for the names of horses that have already been declared to be visible. It is felt that the system would benefit from being simplified, thereby removing any incentive to wait before declaring and removing the resulting delays in publishing entries and declarations, something that would benefit trainers, jockeys and the sport’s customers.
A trial of open entries and declarations will run from races run on 1 December 2018 – 28 February 2019, covering all Flat races with the exception of the Winter Derby. Trainers will be able to see which other horses have entered and declared for the race throughout the relevant processes and there will be no re-opening or re-offering stages.
Trainers will be surveyed following completion of the transparent entry and declaration trial with a view to assessing how a transparent system compares to that which is currently in place. These views will be combined with quantitative information as part of a full review which will inform whether the process could be rolled out beyond the scope of the trial.
Jack Connor, Racing Development Manager at the BHA, said: “Anecdotal evidence has, for a number of years, suggested that a transparent system of entries and declarations could bring benefits for both Horsemen and Racing’s customers. This trial, which has been approved by the BHA Racing Group, gives us a chance to monitor whether such a system works for trainers and their teams. It will also allow us to measure the impact of such changes on field sizes and non-runners, enabling an evidence-based comparison of the two systems.”