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British Horseracing Authority adds 14 new meetings to 2017 fixture list

• Only Authorised Betting Partners were consulted over new dates
• Eleven extra floodlit fixtures for winter Saturday nights created

The annual unveiling of racing’s fixture list has often, in recent years, been accompanied by a certain amount of hand-wringing from officials at the ruling body, which wished to cut fixtures in line with falls in income and horse population but lacked the power to do so. In a sign of how things have changed, the British Horseracing Authority now makes no apology for another increase in fixtures, taking next year’s planned total to 1,496, 14 more than this year and the most since the record of 1,503 six years ago.

The change in atmosphere is partly a reflection of recent official statistics showing that field sizes and horses in training have increased in the first half of this year compared to last, for both Flat racing and jumping. It must be hoped that that recovery is sustainable; it looks vulnerable in jump racing, whose participants fear a steady loss of potential runners to the increase in all-weather action.

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