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The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced the programming of over 60 high-value developmental races in 2023, with funding provided by the BHA, Darley and Juddmonte, supported by additional contributions from the hosting racecourses.

The races will offer enhanced prize money to horses at the beginning of their careers as well as assisting longer-term objectives of supporting the domestic breeding industry and ensuring more quality young horses that are bred in Britain are retained to race there.

This initiative is a 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 63 races are made up 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 races will be run at a range of racecourses, both large and small, across the length and breadth of Great Britain.

The highest value races offering prize money of £50,000 are targeted towards races over longer distances. This forms part of the ongoing programme of work to support the continued production of quality stayers in Britain, with the aim of maintaining variety in the horse population.

As part of this initiative, additional support for restricted novice and maiden races allow for additional prize money to be funnelled across a range of horses, including less expensive horses and more affordable home breds, thereby also providing a boost for smaller owners and breeders.

Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of 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.”