Non-standard race times to be introduced permanently

Non-standard race times will be introduced from Thursday 1st October in Britain and Ireland.
Non-standard race times will be introduced from Thursday 1st October in Britain and Ireland.

‘Non-standard’ race times are here to stay in Britain and Ireland, after a successful trial earlier in the year.   

The move is a joint venture between the BHA and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), and was brought about as a solution to ease congestion issues on busy days. 

It means that we will see race times scheduled at times that don’t follow the standard process of five-minute intervals (such as the 15:08 at Market Rasen) on days when there are four or more fixtures across Britain and Ireland in one session.

The non-standard times were successfully trialled during February in the hope of cutting down on clashes and delays between races, and will be brought into effect on Thursday 1st October. 

Meanwhile, times for races covered by ITV will remain standardised whenever possible.

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Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of the BHA, said: “The trial of non-standard times in February resulted in a reduced number of race clashes and delays on busy afternoons, which was well received by those watching, broadcasting and betting on the sport.

“This also had a positive impact on racing’s finances and following further collaboration with our colleagues in Ireland and discussions with the betting industry, we believe bringing in non-standard times on a permanent basis would continue to deliver considerable benefits to our customers.

“We appreciate the efforts of all those involved in attempting to ensure that races go off on time and there will, of course, still be occasions when unavoidable clashes and delays occur. However, this decision will help to minimise the frequency of such occurrences and ultimately allow us to schedule races in the best possible way for followers of the sport.”

Jason Morris, Director of Racing at Horse Racing Ireland, added: “HRI works closely, through SIS, with the BHA and Racing TV to optimise race times between the two countries. The use of non-standard race times, when trialled earlier in the year, proved effective in terms of reducing race clashes and enhancing broadcast coverage, improving the viewing experience for our customers.

“We have therefore agreed to their continuing utilisation from the start of October. As with the trial period, at the request of Irish racecourses, the first race in Ireland will retain a standard time to aid their promotional efforts.”

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