Jockey Club Racecourses is scheduled to stage 348 racing fixtures in 2018 – an increase of seven on 2017 – according to British Racing’s Fixture List, published today. This represents nearly a quarter of all fixtures run in Britain and is made up of 187 Flat fixtures, 160 Jumps fixtures and one mixed card.
The UK’s leading racecourse group, which stages four of the five Classics, the Randox Health Grand National and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup within its nationwide portfolio of racecourse venues and reinvests all profits into British Racing, secured 58 fixtures through the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) fixture allocation process based on its industry-leading prize money contributions and sporting performance measures.
In 2017, Jockey Club Racecourses is on course to contribute its largest-ever sum to British Racing’s prize money, £22.9 million subject to abandonments, which will be an increase of £2 million on 2016.
Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:
“We are pleased to be the home for nearly a quarter of British Racing’s fixtures next year and to earn the right to stage more next year on the back of our investments in prize money and driving field sizes, including through improving racing surfaces and the experience we offer to connections.
“We will stage two additional Jumps fixtures in 2018 as part of our continued commitment to National Hunt racing – at Huntingdon and Warwick. Huntingdon is the conversion of a Flat fixture from Sandown Park and Warwick’s is a new fixture, which will see the third year of its popular ‘May Racing Carnival’ expand to four Jumps days spread across the month of May.
“We continue to invest significantly in our All-Weather programme at Kempton. I’m delighted we have been able to gain seven AWT fixtures there. This was a key target as an AWT track with capacity given we staged 20 more fixtures than its 2018 scheduled total of 76 as recently as 2014 before Great Leighs was reopened as Chelmsford City Racecourse. At Carlisle we had a one-year lease of a Flat fixture from Chester that now returns as planned.
“More fixtures will allow us to generate greater returns in 2018 and that means we will be able to put more back into British Racing next year, including another boost to prize money.”
Four-week gap between The Festival at Cheltenham and the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree
2018 will see a four-week gap between The Festival and the Randox Health Grand National. In 2017 and more commonly the gap between these two marque racing festivals is three weeks. The Festival will be staged at Cheltenham from to Tuesday 13th to Friday 16th March 2018 and the Randox Health Grand National Festival will be staged at Aintree from Thursday 12th April to Saturday 14th April 2018.