2015 Fixture List will reduce profits by circa £1 million

20th October 2014

Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK's leading racecourse group, today outlined the financial impact of the 2015 Fixture List published today by the sport's governing body, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
 
Jockey Club Racecourses is scheduled to stage 340 fixtures in 2015 compared to 364 fixtures in 2014. The fixtures that will not be staged next year currently generate profits of circa £1 million, which The Jockey Club would have reinvested back into British racing in 2015 in line with its Royal Charter commitments.
 
Due to their prize money contributions and performance against 'racing criteria’ such as field sizes and betting turnover, The Jockey Club’s racecourses were allocated 50 leasehold fixtures through the BHA's process. This includes an increase of four fixtures at its turf courses. The group has been careful to maintain its turf management standards by only seeking to stage fixtures at its courses where there is capacity to do so.
 
However, Kempton Park, its floodlit all-weather track – the only one in the South of England – will stage 26 fewer fixtures in 2015 (2014: 96 scheduled, 2015: 70 scheduled); a loss of 33 percent of its all-weather fixture programme (2014 AWT: 85 scheduled, 2015 AWT: 57 scheduled).
 
This follows the BHA's approval for the re-opening of Great Leighs – now Chelmsford City; its treatment as a new racecourse being automatically granted 12 fixtures; and the decision to cap the scheduled volume of floodlit all-weather 'twilight' fixtures, splitting them evenly between the UK's three floodlit tracks. In 2014, floodlit twilights were split between Kempton Park and Wolverhampton.
 
The UK's largest racecourse group by turnover, attendances, prize money contributions, total prize money, field sizes, quality races and betting turnover, Jockey Club Racecourses puts every penny it makes back into British racing. Each year it publishes its accounts to demonstrate how it lives up to this commitment.
 
In the last five years, Jockey Club Racecourses' prize money contributions have increased by 47 percent – from a then industry-leading £12.4m to a record £18.24m in 2013. In 2014, it is making a record-breaking contribution in excess of £19 million which, added to owners’ entry fees and industry funding, is expected to see total prize money across The Jockey Club’s 15 courses exceed £42 million for the first time*. Jockey Club Racecourses contributed 78 percent more prize money per fixture on average than the rest of the industry last year.
 
Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:
 
"To start 2015 £1 million behind 2014 is disappointing for everyone at Jockey Club Racecourses who have been doing a great job putting on competitive racing for horsemen and racegoers, and generating increased profits each year to reinvest into our sport. This is money we would have put back into British racing next year.
 
"Away from the impact of Chelmsford City on Kempton Park, we were pleased the BHA acknowledged our calls to introduce a merit-based fixture allocation system, including a proportional 'pooled' allocation, and that enterprise fixtures should not be impacted, which racecourses have been investing in for the last few years as permanent fixtures.
 
"We are also pleased the BHA is committing to pull several race planning levers at its disposal to optimise the race programme in an effort to boost field sizes; not just chop out race numbers that would take prize money out of the sport.
 
"As normal, once we complete our budgeting process for 2015 before the end of the year we will make an announcement about our prize money commitments for 2015. We will put in every penny we can afford as always, but of course our contribution will be impacted by today's news."
 
Year-on-year fixture comparison

The Jockey Club's Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Haydock Park, Newmarket July Course, Newmarket Rowley Mile, Sandown Park and Wincanton racecourses next year will stage the same number of fixtures as scheduled in 2014.
 
Carlisle (+2), Exeter (+2), Market Rasen (+1) and Nottingham (+2) racecourses each gain fixtures year-on-year. Warwick Racecourse will stage four fewer fixtures in 2015 following its conversion to a Jumps-only course. Huntingdon Racecourse will stage one fewer fixture next year on account of the lack of an available slot.


British racing fixtures    2014 (scheduled)   2015 (scheduled)   +/- change
Total fixtures 1464 1471 7
JCR fixtures 364 340 24
Aintree 8 8 Same
Carlisle 24 26 +2
Cheltenham 16 16 Same
Epsom Downs 11 11 Same
Exeter 15 17 +2
Haydock Park 32 32 Same
Huntingdon 18 17 -1
Kempton Park 96 70 -26
Market Rasen 21 22 +1
Newmarket
(July Course & Rowley
Mile combined)
39 39 Same
Nottingham 21 23 +2
Sandown Park 25 25 Same
Warwick 21 17 -4
Wincanton 17 17 Same



*JCR contribution and total prize money subject to abandonments as normal