Owner makes call on future of Brighton and Worcester racecourses

The owner of Brighton and Worcester racecourses has committed to the future of both tracks.

Arena Racing Company said the venues will reopen in 2021 after suspending fixtures this year.

The announcement was made yesterday following the publication of the British racing fixture list for September onwards.

"Both racecourses are active in the 2021 fixture allocation process, and we very much look forward to returning to racing at both Brighton and Worcester next spring," said Mark Spincer, Managing Director of ARC's Racing Division.

"We are fully aware of the popularity of both sites with horsemen, racegoers and sponsors alike and would like to thank everyone involved for their understanding.”

Before the relaunch, work will be taking place at both racecourses.

Damage from storms at Brighton and floods at Worcester partly led to the decision to scrap the 2020 programme.

"A combination of the delayed remedial work required at both Brighton and Worcester Racecourses, alongside the financial impact of lockdown and racing behind closed doors, means that we are not in a position to reopen either site for their remaining fixtures this season," Spincer added.

“The significant costs associated with making a racecourse safe to race behind closed doors, with the all of the appropriate bio security and social distancing measures mean that we can not open either site for the limited number of fixtures due before they would then close again for the winter.

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"Ffos Las will equally not reopen for the one remaining scheduled flat fixture in September, but will be in operation for jump racing from October and onwards through the winter season.

“Worcester’s Ladies Day and Brighton’s August Festival are hugely important meetings to the respective racecourses, and have both unfortunately been lost.

"Equally, the prospect of welcoming the public to either site before they are due to close down for the winter again remains uncertain at this stage."

The news came alongside a prize money boost for horse racing, with minimum values increasing at all levels from the start of the month.

It is possible following a 50 per cent increase of funding from the Levy Board, up to £26.6 million over the four months from £17.7m.

Horserace Betting Levy Board chairman Paul Darling said:“We are very pleased to have been able to agree another rise in our prize money allocation for the rest of 2020 at what we recognise as a crucial time for the sport."

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