Goodwood boss accepts the loss of the Group 3s, saying, “We need to take our share of the pain.”
The BHA issued a warning on Friday that removing nine races from Britain’s Flat Pattern and Listed program is only the beginning of an effort to improve the sport.
The Legacy Cup, which is held at Newbury, has lost its Group 3 status, as has the Supreme and March Stakes at Goodwood.
Along with three races from Windsor, the Denford Stakes, the Buckhounds Stakes (Ascot), and the Fairway Stakes (Newmarket) at that venue will no longer be listed races.
The modifications, which were suggested to the regulatory body by a committee that included top trainer William Haggas, were accepted by Goodwood managing director Adam Waterworth.
“We had to do something and we’ve done what I said we’d do; take our share of the pain, which is to lose two Group 3s,” Waterworth said.
“I don’t think there’s any debate about the March Stakes. It hasn’t worked. We’d love to see more runners and I’d love to have put more prize-money in but I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s not working as a race.”
“The Supreme Stakes, I’m genuinely disappointed about because we love that, but the committee and BHA team put the argument to us as to why, if we take that race out, it will help the seven-furlong pattern.”
“Although it weakens a meeting that is really important to us, I think, for the greater good of the sport we’ve done what we said we’d do. Everybody should be prepared to take their share of the pain because we’ve got to do something.”
The BHA director of international racing and racing development, Ruth Quinn, stated: “The quality and competitiveness of our Flat Pattern and Listed programme is fundamental, not just to the long-term reputation and sustainability of British racing, but also to the strength of the breed.”
“Work is under way, as part of the industry’s long-term strategy, to deliver substantive improvements to the way our racing is structured, presented and promoted.”
“This includes continually enhancing the performance of our black-type programme under both codes, and ensuring the best horses continue to be bred, owned, trained, and raced in Britain.”
“The changes to the programme for 2023 are the first of a series of measures, which aim to help address some of the immediate challenges in our black-type contests, particularly around field sizes and race competitiveness, ahead of further, more fundamental, improvements – with racecourses involved in the process from the outset – for 2024 and beyond.”
Quinn went on to say that the changes to the jumps schedule for the 2023–24 season would be announced before the Cheltenham Festival in March.
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