- Industry Matters
- June 24, 2015
24th June 2015
Quality spread: the stats behind our race programme
Today is Bell & Plate Day at Carlisle Racecourse, The Jockey Club's northern-most track. On this Wednesday we offer a £130,000 purse with races including the historic Carlisle Bell - marked by the world's oldest sporting trophy from 1599 as a proud reminder of the heritage we hold dear, the positively-new-by-comparison Cumberland Plate, first run in 1763, and with the £40,000 Class 1 Eternal Stakes (Listed) added to the card from now on.
Average prize money per fixture at Jockey Club Racecourses is around £127,000 this year, up from £120,000 in 2014 and £115,000 in 2013.
So a £130,000 prize fund shouldn't be a suprise at our 15 racecourses, but it is high value given the economics of a raceday without live terrestrial TV coverage, at a course far smaller than those attracting bumper festival crowds and midweek meaning most adults under retirement age are at work.
Talking midweek, I thought I might share some other facts about the spread of our race programme in case you find them interesting. Are they what you expected?
Group / Grade 1s:
- Jockey Club Racecourses: 47 staged, 28 midweek (60%) and 19 at weekends (40%)
- Group / Grade 1s in Industry: 72 staged, 39 midweek (54%) and 33 at weekends (46%)
- Jockey Club Racecourses: 240 staged, 102 midweek (42%) and 138 at weekends (58%)
- Industry: 492 staged, 206 midweek (42%) and 286 at weekends (58%)
Average race class staged:
- Jockey Club Racecourses: 3.92
- Industry: 4.31
Average prize money per fixture:
- Jockey Club Racecourses: £120,000
- Industry: £74,336
Please note, all Industry stats include JCR within them.
Class 1s everywhere!
The move of the Eternal Stakes to Carlisle today also fulfils an ambition of ours: every one of The Jockey Club's tracks on the Flat now stages Class 1 racing and as every Jumps track in the group already did, we now offer Class 1 action across every code, everywhere we stage Flat, Flat All-Weather and Jumps racing.
We are governed by a Royal Charter commitment to act for the long-term good of British racing. That's not optional; it's mandatory, so our race programme across the board is under constant review.
This means we challenge ourselves around the performance of our racedays and their contribution to the sport. This includes how to serve best our customers who include horsemen and the horse population, racing fans and consumers more generally, punters and the betting industry, and commercial partners including sponsors and broadcasters, all with a focus on offering the right opportunities to race, generating returns to maximise prize money investment, delivering a quality customer experience, and giving people the chance to watch or attend.
We have said before that the sport needs to improve its understanding about the make-up of the horse population, as close to real-time as possible, and we support the industry's efforts in this regard. This will help to ensure the race programme best fits available horses, while factoring in the important role of developmental races.
The Jockey Club will continue to invest both midweek - as today's fixture at Carlisle attests with a high value card bolstered by a Class 1 race - and at weekends, and at all levels of the sport. It's all important to the overall health of British racing.