Prize-Money Protest See's Lingfield's Saturday Card Depleted

The ever growing ticking bomb that is prize-money in British racing took its biggest step to going off on Thursday when trainer sin the run up for Saturday's meeting at Lingfield decided to boycott two of the races and only see one runner across the two contests.

The Arena Racing Company-owned track has seen no runners declared for the Ladbrokes five furlong Novice Stakes, from an original nine entered.

There is also only one runner entered in the 1 mile Novice Stakes contest which would currently see a walk over for the Nick Littmoden trained Greybychoice.

This field was originally made up of 18 runners which makes it look even worse for Lingfield and sends a clear message to Arena Racing Company that trainer are serious about this prize-money cut situation.

ARC decided back at the end of 2018 that with the new FOBT scheme being implemented by the government into bookmakers around Britain that they will be reducing the amount of prize money on offer at there racecourses by £3 million.

Trainer Ralph Beckett was set to have a runner in the 1 mile Novice Stakes contest on Saturday at Lingfield with Lope Scholar but has took the stance alongside many other trainers to boycott the race.

ralph beckett

(Credit Racing Post) He said: Trainers have acted as individuals and have simply voted with their feet in regards to those two races on Saturday. The fact there were 18 entries in the mile novice might indicate to Arc that this may not be the last time [racing has low fields]."

Another trainer who withdrew his horse was William Knight and he added: "I just felt that the prize-money on offer was just not good enough so I decided not to declare. We need to make a point so will have a look at a race at Kempton or Chelmsford where the prize-money is better." 

This comes as the first big shape up for ARC after they mad the unwarranted decision to reduce prize-money at there venues.

This could only be the start for the racing company who take charge of 16 racecourses across Britain with both jumps and flat tracks in their roster.

Unless action is taken in the coming weeks trainers could do this at more venues across Britain which would start to ruin the sport, but it is in there right to race horses associated to them wherever they please.

FOBT's coming into the gambling industry in the UK could have a massive negative effect on the sport of horse racing.