Don’t be fooled by dubious business rates advisors

We have been told about a trainer who was visited by a person from a ‘Rating and Valuation Company’ suggesting that they could get the rateable values of stables in Lambourn almost halved based on a property in the nearby village of Chilton Foliat. It is likely that the suggested comparable property was in fact a livery yard as they are valued at the level quoted by this person.

You should be very wary of approaches of this kind and we recommend trainers to only use the services of a Chartered Surveyor, not least because they are not permitted to ask for the fee of £895 up front which was the case in this instance.

As you know, Christopher Marriott is the NTF’s retained advisor for Non-Domestic Rates. He has a huge amount of experience dealing with the Valuation Office and the idiosyncrasies of rateable values of training premises. You can contact him at Marriotts Property LLP on 01367 242422.

Protecting your EU employees’ right to stay in the UK

While the UK’s exit date from the EU has now been delayed on a couple of occasions, with the earliest ‘No Deal’ date now on 31st October, the UK Government scheme for EU citizens and their families to apply for settled status in the UK beyond any Transition period has now fully opened for applications. The Scheme will be open for registrations until June 2021.

Details on how the Scheme operates can be found here and the employer toolkit to help provide applicants with information can be found here.

We have been sending you information about the Settlement Scheme for some time in our news resources. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you and your employees need more support with the process.

Statement following today’s NTF meeting with the BHA

At the meeting today between the NTF Council and the BHA, both parties were open and transparent about the issues that have been a cause of friction between trainers and the regulator in recent months. The outcome was a positive intention to improve communications and work more closely together in the interests of racing. As well as scheduling regular meetings, steps will be taken to create more opportunities for trainers to engage with BHA consultations through the NTF.

Reflecting on the meeting, Ann Duffield, NTF President, said, “Our meeting today with Nick Rust, Atholl Duncan and Brant Dunshea was extremely positive, there was a general feeling of clearing the air. We enjoyed open dialogue and there is a sense of better understanding between us all.”

On behalf of the BHA, Chairman Atholl Duncan said, “We’re very grateful to the Trainers for the spirit they entered into the discussions. We’ve committed to engage with the NTF and its members in a far more effective way in the future. We all want the same for our sport, and we can only achieve that by working together.”

Industry Ownership Days launch at Pontefract in April

The Racehorse Owners Association will be hosting nine Industry Ownership Days up and down the UK during 2019. The days are intended to recognise existing members and to promote the thrill and accessibility of ownership to potential racehorse owners. The first is at Pontefract on Tuesday April 9.

The Industry Ownership Days in 2019 will see a number of additional benefits for members in attendance, including access to the ROA’s popular regional meetings (bookable in advance) which include lunch, as well as an opportunity to use the racecourse facility for the day; complimentary admission to all ROA members; access to members of the ROA team and a well-known racing industry figure who will be acting as host for the day. Mick Fitzgerald takes up this role at Pontefract, and at several other Industry Ownership Days throughout the year.

In addition to these benefits, every Industry Ownership Day will incorporate an ROA Owners Jackpot race on the card, which gives a £2,000 bonus to the winning horse if it’s majority-owned by ROA members. The first scheduled Owners Jackpot race will be the ROA Owners’ Jackpot Handicap (Class 5) 4yo+ rated 56-70 to be run over ONE MILE (race no. 11436). The ROA will also sponsor across the day’s card. Your support would therefore be very much appreciated with both runners and attendance.

Invitations for the regional meeting and lunch have been posted to owners who live locally, and the event is fully booked. Free racecourse entry for ROA members on the Industry Ownership Days is available through the ROA website www.roa.co.uk/events or by calling 0207 152 0200.

The full list of Industry Ownership Days for 2019 is as follows:

Month Racecourse Date Day Code
April Pontefract 09/04/2019 Tuesday F
May Newton Abbot 15/05/2019 Wednesday J
June Haydock Park 06/06/2019 Thursday F
July Musselburgh 03/07/2019 Wednesday F
August Ripon 06/08/2019 Tuesday (EVE) F
September Perth 09/09/2019 Monday J
October Nottingham 02/10/2019 Wednesday F
November Hereford 12/11/2018 Tuesday J
November Wetherby 27/11/2018 Wednesday J

RIABS contributions increase from 1st April

Due to the increasing cost of claims the trustees of the Racing Industry Accident Benefit Scheme (RIABS) have decided to raise the weekly contribution per employee from £5.24 to £6.00. As you know, the contribution is shared equally between employer and employee.

Although this is a sizeable increase, it should ensure that the scheme meets its obligations without having to review contributions again for some time. RIABS is managed by the NTF for the trustees; the weekly benefit is run as a mutual fund so surpluses are retained within the scheme to pay claims in future years.

Restriction on horses returning to the flat after NH Flat race

As part of the 2017 BHA Jump Racing Review, the Group considered a proposal to ensure that horses running in National Hunt Flat races (NHF’s) are those genuinely intended for a career over Jumps, not merely horses from Flat yards having a perceived easy introduction in an NHF race. It is not uncommon for such horses to have a run in an NHF prior to then running on the Flat in a Novice or Maiden race, as an “unraced” horse under that code.

Over the years, NHF’s have increased in popularity and at some venues at particular times of the year, it is not uncommon to see up to half of the field made up of Flat bred horses from Flat yards.

In November 2017 the Racing Group approved in principle a Rule to prevent NHF runners from running on the Flat within an ascertained time frame. It has since been decided that a period of 9 months would be a sensible time frame and the new rule has been approved ready for the 2019/2020 jump season.

New procedures confirmed for weights rises in races with reserves

28/03/2019 @ 15:45:00

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed changes to the procedure for races which have reserves in relation to post-declaration weights rises.

If the top weight is a non-runner after declaration but prior to the reserve deadline of 1pm the day before the race, weights will not rise if all runners are already in the weights, taking account of any penalties horses might have incurred for winning but not including riders’ allowances.

If any of the declarations are outside the weights, then the weights will rise in the usual manner as they do currently, and revised declarations of riders will be accepted up until 1.30pm on the day before the race. This will come into force for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National and all subsequent races which have reserves.

Clarification has also been provided as to how reserves will be presented in the racecard/data feeds should they get a run in the 2019 Grand National.

Reserves will take the number of the horse they are replacing but appear at the bottom of the racecard list to maintain weight order. As an example, if a horse numbered 14 comes out, the reserve will have R14 next to its name but will appear at the end/bottom of the list of runners.