ROA Owners Jackpot race update

The table below is an updated list of upcoming ROA Owners Jackpot races. Note that the race on Sunday 19th November originally earmarked as a Jackpot race is no longer designated as such. This has been substituted for the race at Taunton on 16th November.

Fri 27 Oct Doncaster (Jackpot +) 1m 2f Class 3 3yo 0-95 Handicap
Wed 1 Nov Nottingham 1m Class 4 3yo+ 0-85 Handicap
Wed 8 Nov Musselburgh 3m Class 4 4yo+ 0-120 Handicap Hurdle
Thur 16 Nov Taunton 2m 1/2f Class 5 4-6yo Maiden National Hunt Flat
Tues 21 Nov Southwell 2m4f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Chase
Wed 29 Nov Hereford 2m 3 1/2f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Hurdle

Changes in the pipeline for Hunter Chase eligibility

The BHA Racing Group has agreed changes to the eligibility for Hunter Chases. This has followed a long debate over several meetings with the NTF not supporting the fourth of these recommendations:

  1. Licensed Trainers can continue to run horses in Hunter Chases
  2. Cessation of the November to December blackout period for horses running in the following year’s Hunter Chases
  3. No change to the Hunter Chase eligibility based on previous race performance
  4. Horses that run under the care of a licensed trainer in a Hunter Chase may run only in a Hunter Chase for the remainder of the Hunter Chase season (i.e. up to the Stratford HC meeting.)

The NTF’s concern was that the number of horses being sent Hunter Chasing from licensed yards may decrease significantly as a result of this change. The BHA’s opinion was that that if the other three recommendations were implemented, particularly the cessation of the November and December blackout period, then the whole approach to Hunter Chasing eligibility would be relaxed to a point where a large proportion of horses would be able to dip in and out of Hunter Chasing, something that would be undesirable.

The Racing Group will review the impact of the changes, including the number of horses being sent Hunter Chasing from licensed yards, at the end of the first season.

Lowering of the weights in jump handicaps

As part of the discussion on including horses rated +1lb or +2lb above the top of the rating band in jump handicaps, the BHA Racing Group has considered the Rule governing the raising and lowering of weights in Jump handicaps. It has now been agreed to mirror the way in which the rule operates on the Flat with regard to the lowering of weights when all declared runners are above 9st 2lb.

This has been operating successfully on the Flat for some years now and was introduced principally to remove the incidents of horses carrying unnecessarily high weights in races where all declared runners are above an agreed weight.

Rule (F)45.5 is being changed to bring those same benefits to Jump racing. After consulting the NTF, the BHA has agreed that where all declared runners are above 11st, the weights should be lowered to 11st accordingly.

Auction price cap for median auction races from 2018

The BHA has announced that an auction price cap will be placed on median auction races from next year.

The move is designed to ensure the contests remain an opportunity for horses who have been bought for relatively little.

Horses which qualify under the median price of the race but were bought or sold in at auction for more than £20,000 above the median value of the race will now be excluded.

Paul Johnson, Head of Racing at the BHA, said: “The changes to median auction races are in response to our concerns that the median approach alone occasionally allowed horses that the races were not really designed for to take part, those being horses that had established a high sales price but are the progeny of stallions with a low median sales price.

“The introduction of a median auction price cap should ensure that the races become more attractive to the smaller owners and breeders, which was their original purpose.”

This cap was first proposed last year and we know that for some trainers it is not popular. Although we have made this known to the BHA Racing Group, the policy has now been confirmed by that group.


New Racing Admin Workshops and Visits

From next week, the BHA and Weatherbys will be staging the first in a series of events to help ensure trainers and their staff are confident using the new Racing Admin system ahead of the removal of the old Racing Admin site at the end of the year.

While the events are staged across the country, in the instance that you are unable to attend any of the sessions, or you require further support, please do not hesitate to get in contact via In addition to arranging separate visits, online demonstrations can also be staged to ensure that all trainers have the chance to raise any queries before the original system is replaced.


In September and October the BHA and Weatherbys are staging three workshops for trainers and their staff. The sessions, which will all start at 12:30pm and last just over an hour, will take place at:

11th September – British Racing School, Newmarket

19th September – Middleham Key Centre

9th October – The Queen’s Arms, Lambourn

The workshops will help guide you through the switch to the new site and if you are interested in attending please email to reserve your place.

Racecourse visits

In addition to these workshops, there will also be the opportunity for owners and trainers to ask questions about the new Racing Admin system and the ownership reforms at drop in sessions hosted on racedays across the country at:

18th September – Carlisle

19th September – Newcastle

26th September – Warwick

12th October – Exeter

Members of BHA and Weatherbys staff will be present throughout each meeting and there is no need to reserve a place. 

In the instance you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Weatherbys Ownership Desk on 01933 304808 or email

Owners Jackpot £2000 bonus races in September for ROA members

There will be five races carrying a £2,000 Owners Jackpot bonus during September.  Where the winner of these weekly races is owned by an ROA member/members, the extra payment is made to the owner in addition to the winning prize-money.

The first race in September is an Owners Jackpot+ race.  All qualified runners in this race will be offered £250 travelling expenses and there will be a pre-bookable ROA facility on the day offering a complimentary drink and light refreshments.

September 5 Goodwood  – Owners Jackpot+ (see below) 7f Class 5 2yo Fillies Novice Stakes  
September 15 Salisbury 6f Class 6 3yo 0-65 Handicap  
September 23 Newmarket 7f Class 4 3yo+ 0-85 Handicap  
September 25 Kempton Park 1m Class 4 3yo+ 0-85 Handicap  
September 29 Haydock 1m2f Class 5 3yo+ 0-70 Apprentice Handicap This is an additional race owing to an abandonment of an earlier jackpot race at Haydock

To qualify for the bonus, horses must be owned by members.  In the case of partnerships, at least 51% is required to be owned by members.  For horses owned in a Syndicate, over half of the Syndicators need to be members of the ROA.

As usual, each weekly race selected offers a minimum prize fund of £5,000 for a class 4, 5 or 6 race.

Novice chase recommendations welcomed

Four current or recent members of the NTF’s National Hunt Committee were part of a working group that has made recommendations announced today on the Novice Chase system.

A detailed data analysis was carried out, supported by a questionnaire for Jump trainers and the exploration of a variety of proposals. Thanks to all trainers who responded to the questions. It is essential for the future health of the sport that the race programme provides incentives for trainers and owners to send horses of all abilities Chasing.

The recommendations, which were approved by the sport’s cross-industry Racing Group and the BHA Board and will be implemented from 1 October 2017, are as follows:

  • No handicap rating increase in weight-for-age Novices’ Chases of Class 2 and below other than for the winner. This will only apply to horses that have already run four times over obstacles (either hurdles or fences.)

    The working party felt that perception can be as important as reality and to encourage more horses to run in weight-for-age Novices’ Chases, trainers’ preconceptions of the handicappers’ reaction needs to be addressed. This has been shown to be effective in flat conditions races.

  • An increase in the number of weight-for-age Novices’ Chases, to be balanced by a decrease in number of Novices’ handicap Chases. A maximum increase of 25% on the current programme of 200 weight-for-age Chases was proposed
  • Programming of six ‘confined’ races during the autumn for horses which have not won more than one race over hurdles. This proposal is aimed at providing a pathway for the later-maturing type destined for Chasing.

Analysis of the horse population revealed a pool of 948 horses went chasing who       would have fulfilled these criteria in 2016/17

  • Rating band for the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival to be increased to 0-145 (from 0-140).

    This race has become a key seasonal target for many Novice Chasers, resulting in the cut off for elimination this year being 137. Increasing the banding to 0-145 was considered a more sensible cut off for the handicap and key to the success of the new system, with horses rated 146 and above capable of holding their own in Graded company.

  • Valuable Novices’ Handicap Chase Series Final to be programmed in the spring. Racecourses to be given the opportunity to apply to stage the £100,000 Final, which will be supported by the BHA Development Fund. Horses must run in at least two weight-for-age Novices’ or Beginners’ Chase during the season in order to enter the Final.

Trainers involved directly on the working group were Nick Alexander, Philip Hobbs, Emma Lavelle and Dan Skelton.