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Thursday, June 10, 2004


The OFT has reached a provisional agreement with the British Horseracing Board (BHB) that proposed reforms of the running of British horseracing satisfy the OFT's competition concerns.

The proposed reforms are principally set out in the BHB's The Modernisation of British Racing document published today. They will also be set out in an OFT commitments notice (the first of its kind), which will be subject to public consultation. Assuming the consultation process confirms the OFT's preliminary position, it intends to make a decision to accept binding commitments and close its file, using new powers introduced on 1 May 2004, following changes to EC and UK competition law (see Note 3).

The main changes proposed by the BHB include:

an increase in the overall number of racing fixtures
the introduction of a new process by which racecourses will be able to compete for existing racing fixtures and to bid for new ones
an end to the '50 mile rule', which prevented racecourses within 50 miles of each other from offering racing on the same date
an increase in racecourses' freedom to determine the types of racing they each put on
the creation of a new body, British Horseracing Enterprises, which will be responsible for commercialisation of the BHB racing database
the introduction of a new method by which income from the commercialisation of racing data will be passed on to racecourses in direct relation to their success in attracting betting and
the introduction of an arbitration mechanism to provide a pricing safeguard for bookmakers in the event that BHB proposes specified increases in the price charged for access to its racing database.

Full details of all of the reforms, except those relating to data pricing safeguards, are published today by the BHB, at their AGM, in the document The Modernisation of British Racing. Details of the remaining changes and the commitments, together with an explanation of how the OFT believes the reforms meet its competition law concerns, will be published by the OFT shortly.

These reforms to the running of British horseracing follow an OFT Competition Act investigation and a review by the BHB of its role as the governing body of racing.

The OFT investigation followed the notification by the BHB and the Jockey Club of a number of agreements, including the Orders and Rules of Racing. The OFT provisionally found in 2003 that the Orders and Rules raised a number of competition concerns. These arose from the high level of central control exerted by the BHB over how and when racecourses could offer horseracing and over the way BHB could exploit horseracing commercially through its control over racing data. The OFT was concerned that these agreements had the overall effect of restricting competition between racecourses, by preventing them from altering their racing in response to consumer demand, and prevented the emergence of alternative providers of racing data.

The OFT has been in discussions with the BHB since the beginning of the year about how these concerns might be addressed. The changes announced today by the BHB significantly increase the freedom of, and scope for competition between, racecourses to provide racing that will prove attractive to their customers. For example, it should be easier for a racecourse to put on additional racing fixtures at a time when racegoers wish to go racing. It should also be easier for new racecourses to come into being. In addition, the OFT accepts that, subject to certain safeguards on pricing that will be set out in the commitments, the BHB may continue to sell horseracing data centrally, to ensure universal access to a single, reliable and comprehensive database.

John Vickers, OFT Chairman, said:

‘The BHB's reforms give British horseracing a more competitive future. Greater freedom for courses – old and new – to compete to meet the demands of racegoers, punters and owners should be good for the public and for the sport.'

The OFT proposes to close its investigation with respect to the Jockey Club's role in the administration of horseracing without formal commitments, on the basis that the Jockey Club's position no longer gives rise to competition concerns.

The OFT will shortly be consulting third parties on a formal commitments notice setting out in more detail how the proposed changes meet the OFT's competition concerns.


Six Perfections is the 6-4 favourite with Coral for next week's Queen Anne Stakes following the news that Russian Rhythm is to miss the race.

In other Royal Ascot news, Haafhd is the 2-1 favourite for the St James's Palace Stakes, while Majestic Missile heads Coral's King's Stand betting at 4-1.

St James's Palace Stakes
2-1 Haafhd, 5-1 Bachelor Duke, 11-2 Antonius Pius, 13-2 Azamour, 7-1 Snow Ridge, 8-1 Brunel, 12-1 Diamond Green, 14-1 Pastoral Pursuits, 16-1 Madid, Pearl Of Love, 20-1 Byron, 25-1 Leicester Square, Mukafeh, Tillerman, 40-1 Meath, Moscow Ballet, 66-1 Castleton, 100-1 Newton

Queen Anne Stakes
6-4 Six Perfections, 7-1 Nebraska Tornado, Salselon, Soviet Song, 8-1 Norse Dancer, 12-1 Alkaadhem, Bowman's Crossing, Martillo, 14-1 Lateen Sails, Refuse To Bend, 16-1 Firebreak, 20-1 Arakan, Hurricane Alan, 25-1 Checkit, Just James, 33-1 Babodana, 66-1 Beauchamp Pilot,

King's Stand Stakes
4-1 Majestic Missile, 9-2 Frizzante, 11-2 Patavellian, 7-1 Avonbridge, The Trader, 8-1 Cape Of Good Hope, 9-1 The Tatling, 12-1 Boogie Street, Lochridge, Lydgate, 16-1 La Cucaracha, Ringmoor Down, 25-1 Bahamian Pirate, Colonel Cotton, If Paradise, Mornin Reserves, Nights Cross, Speed Cop, 33-1 Dragon Flyer, Dubaian Gift, 50-1 Smokin Beau, Stormont


William Hill Trophy
5-1 Fun To Ride, 6-1 Alderney Race, 13-2 Mis Chicaf, 15-2 Wanchai Lad, 10-1 Traytonic, 14-1 Big Bradford, Danzig River, 16-1 Glaramara, High Voltage, Two Step Kid, Delphie Queen, 20-1 Times Review, Bonne De Fleur, 22-1 Harry Up, 25-1 Fast Heart, Nero's Return, 28-1 Latin Review, 33-1 Local Poet, Doohulla, Rydal, Res. 8-1 Bygone Days, 14-1 Bo McGinty

Prince Of Wales's Stakes
3-1 Rakti, 7-2 Sulamani, 11-2 Powerscourt, 10-1 Bandari, Ikhtyar, Nebraska Tornado, Kalaman, 12-1 Magistretti, Phoenix Reach, 16-1 Alkaadhem, Kaieteur, Lateen Sails, Refuse To Bend, 25-1 Chancellor

Ascot Gold Cup
9-4 Mr Dinos, 9-2 Papineau, Vinnie Roe, 6-1 Westerner, 10-1 Millenary, Alcazar, 14-1 New South Wales, 16-1 Royal Rebel, 20-1 Delsarte, Darasim, Shanty Star, 25-1 Dusky Warbler, Misternando, Sun Bird, Savannah Bay

Golden Jubilee Stakes
11-2 Exceed And Excel, 8-1 Avonbridge, Frizzante, Patavellian, Monsieur Bond, 9-1 Airwave, 10-1 Trade Fair, 14-1 Balmont, 16-1 Arakan, Somnus, Crystal Castle, Mister Links, 20-1 Howick Falls, Peak To Creek, Soaring Free, Steenberg, Three Valleys, 25-1 Ashdown Express, Byron, Carry On Katie, Fayr Jag, Kheleyf, Polar Way, Royal Millennium

Royal Hunt Cup
6-1 Autumn Glory, 10-1 Blue Spinnaker, Polar Bear, Putra Kuantan, 12-1 Mine, Vortex, 14-1 Fremen, 16-1 Camp Commander, El Coto, New Seeker, Zero Tolerance, 20-1 Able Baker Charlie, Flowerdrum, Impeller, Kings County, Maksad, Norton, Pablo, Pentecost, Quito, Royal Guard, Thihn, Wing Commander, 25-1 Bar

10-1 Prince Aaron, 12-1 Lafi, 14-1 Coconut Penang, Greenslades, 16-1 Corridor Creeper, Fannys Fancy, High Reach, Moayed, Pic Up Sticks, Royal Guard, So Will I, Traytonic, Tychy, 20-1 Alderney Race, Dazzling Bay, Enchanted, Fire Up The Band, Hits Only Money, Maksad, Master Robbie, Mazepa, Native Title, Ringmoor Down, Royal Storm, Whitbarrow, 25-1 Bar

Irish Derby
4-6 North Light, 4-1 Let The Lion Roar, 7-1 Rule Of Law, Day Flight, 10-1 Grey Swallow, 14-1 Wolfe Tone, Magritte

5-1 Rakti, 6-1 Salford City, 8-1 Russian Rhythm, 10-1 Azamour, Bachelor Duke, Bandari, Ikhtyar, Phoenix Reach, Powerscourt, 12-1 Magistretti, 14-1 Altieri, Kalaman, Mingun, 16-1 Kaieteur, Leporello, Norse Dancer, 20-1 Warrsan, 25-1 Victory Moon

King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes
3-1 North Light, 4-1 Sulamani, 8-1 Doyen, 10-1 Rule Of Law, 12-1 Gamut, Let The Lion Roar, Polish Summer, Powerscourt, 14-1 Vallee Enchantee, Warrsan, 16-1 Brian Boru, Hard Buck, Millenary, Phoenix Reach, 20-1 Epalo, 25-1 High Accolade, Percussionist, Scotts View, 33-1 Fair Mix, Magritte

Sussex Stakes
7-2 Haafhd, 4-1 Russian Rhythm, 8-1 Bago, Antonius Pius, One Cool Cat, 10-1 Snow Ridge, 12-1 Kalaman

St Leger
5-1 Percussionist, 6-1 Let The Lion Roar, 8-1 Yeats, 10-1 North Light, Magritte, 12-1 Wolfe Tone

Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe
6-1 North Light, 8-1 Sulamani, Doyen, Bago, 10-1 Mubtaker, Rakti, 12-1 Yeats, 14-1 Prospect Park, Ouija Board, 16-1 Blue Canari, Polish Summer, Powerscourt, Vallee Enchantee, Valixir, 20-1 Lord Du Sud, Gamut, Reefscape


AT THE RACES will have daily live coverage from Royal Ascot throughout all five days of racing.

The dedicated racing channel - available through Sky digital, Telewest and NTL - will cover all 30 races live from the world's most famous race meeting.

Live coverage from Royal Ascot will start at 1.00pm each day in At The Races Live, and will feature live coverage of each six-race card throughout the afternoon.

The team of experienced presenters & commentators will include; Mike Cattermole, John McCririck, Alex Hammond, Jason Weaver, Lee Mottershead, Lorna Bradburne, Dave Nevison, Sean Boyce and Tony Stafford.

The first coverage from Royal Ascot will be at 9.00am on Tuesday 15 June with Racing News live from the course. The show will provide an in-depth guide to the day's racing with goings and non-runner reports, interviews and betting updates.

Racing News will be scheduled twice daily Tuesday to Friday, presented by Robert Cooper with Mark Winstanley his guest. On Saturday 19 June, Racing News will be scheduled at 8.30am and presented by Dave Compton with Claude Duval his guest.

Ahead of Royal Ascot, live UK Racing returns to At The Races tomorrow, Friday 11 June, with live cards from Southwell and Chepstow.

Live coverage of Royal Ascot with At The Races:

Tuesday 15th June
2.30pm The Coventry Stakes LIVE
3.05pm The King's Stand Stakes LIVE
3.45pm The St James's Palace Stakes LIVE
4.20pm The Queen Anne Stakes LIVE
4.55pm The Ascot Stakes LIVE
5.30pm The Windsor Castle Stakes LIVE

16th 2.30pm The Jersey Stakes LIVE
3.05pm The Windsor Forest Stakes LIVE
3.45pm The Prince of Wales's Stakes LIVE
4.20pm The Royal Hunt Cup LIVE
4.55pm The Queen Mary Stakes LIVE
5.30pm The Sandringham Stakes LIVE

Thursday 17th
2.30pm The Norfolk Stakes LIVE
3.05pm The Ribblesdale Stakes LIVE
3.45pm The Gold Cup LIVE
4.20pm The King George V Stakes LIVE
4.55pm The Hampton Court Stakes LIVE
5.30pm The Britannia Stakes LIVE

Friday 18 June
2.30pm The Albany Stakes LIVE
3.05pm The King Edward VII Stakes LIVE
3.45pm The Coronation Stakes LIVE
4.20pm The Wolferton Rated Stakes LIVE
4.55pm The Queens Vase LIVE
5.30pm The Buckingham Palace Stakes LIVE

Saturday 19 June
2.30pm The Chesham Stakes LIVE
3.05pm The Hardwicke Stakes LIVE
3.45pm The Golden Jubilee Stakes LIVE
4.25pm The Wokingham Stakes LIVE
5.00pm The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes LIVE
5.35pm The Queen Alexandra Stakes LIVE


Newsells Park Stud was understandably delighted by the recent win of Ask For The Moon in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp having previously purchased a 10% share of her sire, Dr Fong.

This Group 1 winner is among four first-crop Stakes winners by Dr Fong, the others are Miss Childrey (Swordlestown Stud Sprint Stakes), New Mexican (Silver Tankard Stakes) and Spotlight (Montrose Stakes). Ask For The Moon is now a strong contender for the Group 1 Prix Diane Hermes on 13 June at Chantilly.

An unbeaten Stakes winning 2YO and Group 1 winning 3YO, Dr Fong has sired 40 winners and a number of Stakes places to date.

The son of Kris S is champion British-based first season sire and has the following Newsells' mares in foal to him: Diamond White, Fenella's Link, Hula Queen, Krajina, Macina, Oh Bej Oh Bej, and Skytrial.

John Warren, Side Hill Stud, said: "The Roberto line is something that I was keen to re-develop back into this country. Dr Fong has everything we wanted and has passed his great looks on to his offspring. Now that he is producing high-class runners it gives breeders confidence to mate their good mares to the horse".

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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