Work on new Owners and Trainers facilities underway at Newbury

On Monday 15 August, Newbury Racecourse’s £20m ‘heartspace’ redevelopment shifted into top gear, as contractors moved in to begin work. The first major part of the project is the construction of a new Owners and Trainers facility, on the site currently occupied by the Premier entrance, Owners and Trainers Bar and the Pavilions, adjacent to the Owners and Trainers Car Park.

This building is due to be completed in the early Autumn of 2017, and will transform the Owners and Trainers experience at Newbury. It will contain a VIP entrance for badge collection, with a drop off area outside, a large Owners and Trainers bar and a 200 seat restaurant for the use of Owners and Trainers, as well as lawn viewing next to the pre-parade ring. On the first floor there will be a private viewing platform with outstanding views of the pre-parade ring, saddling boxes, parade ring and winners enclosure.

The redevelopment will also include a completely new pre-parade ring with open and closed saddling boxes, enhanced viewing around an enlarged parade ring, a new winners enclosure and a new unsaddling/wash down area for unplaced horses to avoid the need for these horses to return to the parade ring to be unsaddled. As you can see from the images below, the pre-parade ring will move slightly from its current position and rotate through 90 degrees to be parallel with the railway line and adjacent to the new Owners and Trainers facility.

During the construction of these new Owners & Trainers facilities, there will be some changes to arrangements on racedays. As has been the case since the new railway bridge at the Eastern end of the site opened in November 2015, you can park in Car Park 2, the traditional Owners & Trainers car park, or in Car Park 4, closer to the new bridge. Please note that a section of Car Park 2 will be part of the construction site for the new building, so the capacity of this car park will be reduced slightly over the next few months.

A temporary Owners & Trainers ticket collection marquee will be in use next to The Lodge in Car Park 2 and a temporary Owners & Trainers Bar will be in use on the raised level and terrace of the Premier Lawn Bar adjacent to the Crafty Filly. There will also be a temporary pre-parade ring in use during the next few months in the early stages of construction.

If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me on 01635 40015 or any of the team as below:

Richard Osgood (Clerk of the Course) on 07977 426947 or via

Andy Clifton (Head of Communications) on 07876 330090 or via

Gemma Merritt (O&T Representative) on 01635 39655 or

Newbury Racecourse thanks you for your patience during the construction period and looks forward to welcoming you to Newbury over the coming months and to the fantastic new Owners & Trainers facility in the Autumn of 2017.

Your help needed getting feedback on child care in Newmarket

Lack of affordable child care is said to be a barrier to women remaining in employment in racing when they have children and also prevents them returning on a full or part time basis.

Racing Welfare has enlisted the NTF’s help to gather responses to its questionnaire about child care in Newmarket. The survey is aimed at anyone living and working in the racing (and breeding) industry in Newmarket and the surrounding areas who have childcare responsibilities.  Racing Welfare is working with other partners and agencies to identify what (if any) the childcare issues are and to determine if there any options to work collaboratively to support racing families.

Please would all trainers in and around Newmarket ask their employees to whom the criteria apply to complete the questionnaire, which is online at

The deadline for completion is Friday 26th August.

Injury risks associated with surface type and going

Thoroughbred Health Network (THN) translates and disseminates scientific research findings in an easily understandable format. It has just published its latest research review.  This review on injuries risks associated with surface type and going, is broken down into three parts;

  1. a summary page,
  2. a review of all scientific research available relating to injury risks associated with surface type and going and
  3. an explanation of limb and surface interaction during locomotion.

As usual, the THN’s research review has been organised in accordance to the scientific evidence available and clearly shows a) what there is good evidence for; b) what there is some evidence for; and c) what there is no evidence for but we would benefit from knowing.

A key objective is to bring trainers, vets and horse owners together at an annual workshop to discuss issues relating to horse performance, injury and disease. The THN will be holding its first veterinary workshop at Musselburgh Racecourse on the 24 August, immediately after racing 5:30pm – 7:30pm. This workshop is FREE for THN members.  Book your place at the workshop TODAY via Eventbrite as places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact

2016 Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship – Applications invited

When you were planning to start training on your own account, you will have wanted to take every opportunity to gain experience and knowledge. It has become a feature of successful young trainers to travel abroad, working for a trainer in another country to add to the array of knowledge needed and to acquire new insights.

For those without the necessary funds, these opportunities may seem beyond reach. One reason for setting up the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship was to provide that opportunity for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go abroad.

The NTF is responsible for promoting and managing the award, which is funded by Racing to School (formerly BHEST.) The winner will receive a grant of £3000 towards their travel costs and living expenses. The NTF will assist the winner to plan their trip and if necessary will facilitate introductions to a trainer abroad.

Previous winners include trainers James Given, Charlie Longsdon, Amy Weaver and Eoghan O’Neill. Last year’s joint winners both had an amazing time, one at Godolphin Australia and the other with Wesley Ward in Florida and Kentucky. To get an idea of the hugely valuable experiences these and others have gained, reports from recent winners can be viewed on the Awards page on our website.

Applications, which must be received by 30th September, can be made by downloading the form from the same page here.

We hope you will bring this opportunity to the attention of your assistant in recognition of the huge part winning the award could play in helping his or her career.


Boost for Juvenile Hurdles

The BHA has announced an initiative to support the Juvenile Hurdlers population following concerns raised in the Jump Racing Review.  Four high value Introductory Hurdle races, for horses which have not previously run in more than one hurdle race, will be added to the programme in November and December.

The initiative aims to create a pathway for horses into Jump racing following on from their Flat careers. The BHA Racing Department is keen to offer an enhancement to the current programme by offering high value races that will complement the existing Black Type opportunities available.

There are several factors which could be contributing to the shortage of runners in Juvenile Hurdle races, including the increased cost of purchasing suitable hurdling candidates from the Flat due to competition in the international market, to the increase in quality races and prize money available on the All Weather allowing horses to have a prolonged Flat career.

The BHA Development Fund currently contributes £20,000 towards four Juvenile Handicap Hurdle races in the spring and the new races will add further incentive to attract Flat horses and owners into hurdling during the early part of the season. The Development Fund has approved £8,000 per race towards the four £20,000 Introductory Juvenile Hurdle races.  The Introductory Juvenile Races are as follows:

Date Racecourse
26 November 2016 Newcastle
2 December 2016 Sandown
14 December 2016 Musselburgh
27 December 2016 Kempton

New legislation for horse transport in France

The French Government has recently introduced legislation requiring that foreign truck drivers whose journeys either begin or terminate in France carry a statement with them that during their professional stay in France they are paid the French statutory minimum wage (around £8.18 at current exchange rates.) Drivers are required to carry this document (an attestation of posting) with them and that each company posting drivers in France must have a French authorised agent.  The EU is currently challenging the introduction of the law.

To what extent this affects British-based trainers sending their boxes with drivers to France is unclear from the guidance currently available and in most cases the overall journey will not begin or terminate in France.

It would be advisable to ensure that work schedules show that the journey is starting and terminating in the UK and the TPA Docom should also reflect that.   We will continue to research how the legislation is interpreted; if any trainer has any contact with the French authorities in relation to this then please let us know.