27th August 2015
Oops! It seems I have upset William Derby (again!) and this time he may have a point. I must accept that the statement I have made below, that ‘York racecourse is making a profit on entry fees alone’, is factually incorrect.
It seems that, while I was correct that some racecourses had vociferously objected to BHA proposals to put a cap on owners’ contributions to individual races at 75%, it was eventually agreed that owners’ contributions must not exceed 90% of any total prize fund. Furthermore, it was also ruled that total prize-funds should not exceed the advertised total amount and so, where entry fees exceed 90% of that sum, any surplus must be returned, first to those eliminated by ballot from the race and then, if a surplus still remained, pro-rata to other contributors.
In the case of the DBS Premier Yearling Stakes, York actually made an executive contribution of £40,000, £10,000 more than the minimum required, and so owners only contributed 86.66% of the total prize-fund.
I must, therefore, apologise to York for my error but it still doesn’t make me feel much happier about the principles of running ‘Sales’ races or other races where the owners are, in the main, running for their own money. And it also raises the question of what exactly constitutes an ‘executive’ contribution from a racecourse these days and where that money comes from but I’ll save that for another day. Maybe the next Klarion.