Changes To Novice Programme

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The British Horseracing Authority has made some adjustments to its new-look 3-year-old novice race programme that was rolled out at the start of the year. In early 2018, around 80% of Britain’s 3-year-old maiden races were converted to novice events to provide greater scope for horses to develop by increasing the opportunities in weight-for-age races for those that win races in the early stages of their careers.

Now, horses that have run three times and have won will be ineligible for novice races for 3-year-olds and 3-year-olds and up. The balance of maiden versus novice races has been slightly increased again, and now sits at 75% novice races, 25% maiden races, and minor adjustments have been made to the penalty scale.

“Extending the novice programme to 3-year-olds is delivering a number of benefits that are supporting the development of inexperienced but potentially talented horses,” said Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA. “With a fundamental change to the race programme such as this, however, it is always possible that adjustments may be required to help the changes bed in. This is why we closely monitor the data from these initiatives for some time after they are introduced in order that we can make measured, evidence-based changes where appropriate. We will continue to monitor the data and gather views from our participants before completing a full review at the end of the season.”

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