Changes have been made to the Flat Pattern and Listed Programme for 2023, the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA) Flat Pattern Committee confirmed on Friday.
Focusing primarily on reducing the number of Group 3 and listed races, these are the first changes announced to help improve the performance of Britain's black-type races. Additional changes will be announced next month. These short-term measures are aimed at boosting field sizes and increasing this year's black-type race competitiveness. Other means of strengthening the race programme in 2024 and beyond are being developed through the sport's industry strategy. The following Group 3 and listed races will no longer form part of the Pattern and Listed Programme for 2023:
- Listed Leisure S., Windsor Racecourse (6f, 3yo+, May)
- Listed Royal Windsor S., Windsor racecourse (8f, 3yo+, May)
- Listed Fairway S., Newmarket Racecourse (10f, 3yo, May)
- Listed Buckhounds S., Ascot Racecourse (12f, 4yo+, May)
- Listed Midsummer S., Windsor Racecourse (8f, 3yo+, July)
- Listed Denford S., Newbury Racecourse (7f, 2yo, August)
- G3 Supreme S., Goodwood Racecourse (7f, 3yo+, August)
- G3 March S., Goodwood Racecourse (14f, 3yo, August)
- G3 Legacy Cup S., Newbury Racecourse (11f, 3yo+, September)
In addition, the Listed European Free Handicap S., Newmarket Racecourse (7f, 3yo, April) and the Listed King Richard III S., Leicester Racecourse (7f, 4yo+, April) will also not be staged in 2023. An adjustment to the winter All-Weather programme will see the Listed Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park (10f, 4yo+, February) shortened to a mile and renamed the Listed Tandridge S. (8f, 4yo+, Feb. 4).
BHA Director of International Racing and Racing Development, Ruth Quinn, said, “The quality and competitiveness of our Flat Pattern and Listed Programme is fundamental, not just to long-term reputation and sustainability of British racing, but also to the strength of the thoroughbred breed.
“Work is already underway, as part of the industry's long-term strategy, to deliver substantive improvements to the way our racing is structured, presented and promoted.
“This includes continually enhancing the performance of our black-type programme under both codes, and ensuring that the best horses continue to be bred, owned, trained, and raced in Britain.
“The changes to the programme for 2023 are the first of a series of measures, which aim to help address some of the immediate challenges in our black-type contests, particularly around field sizes and race competitiveness, ahead of further, more fundamental, improvements–with racecourses involved in the process from the outset–for 2024 and beyond.
“Work also continues through the Jump Pattern Committee to deliver a package of measures in time for the 2023/24 season, with changes to the Jump Pattern and Listed Programme to be announced prior to the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.”