20th March 2015

I sympathise with French trainer Francois Rohaut, Stan Moore and any other trainer who entered the three-year-old mile race on AW Championship Day only to find that it was reopened and that four horses were then added.

However, Francois Rohaut, is mistaken when he says that the rules had been changed ‘in the middle of things’. This rule, which allows for races to be re-opened at the entry stage if they attract insufficient entries, is relatively new but was in place long before this race closed. Nonetheless, I agree that it is unfair to allow a second chance to enter, after having seen the number of initial entries and the rating of the top horse, with no extra cost over and above that paid by the original entries. The result is that many of us watch entry and declaration tracking and don’t enter races which we know will re-open.

The entry tracking system is generally a good thing and to simply do away with it would not solve the problem of insufficient entries. The answer, surely, is to allow re-opening but with a significant supplementary fee for entering at a later stage. These supplementary fees should go entirely to prize-money (as with the Epsom Derby and many other major early-closing races) to compensate those that entered at the first stage.

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