Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/pictures)
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Hayley Turner (left), Mickaelle Michel and Nicola Currie received the Shergar Cup in 2021.
Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/pictures)
Written by James Stevens
The failure of one of many Shergar Cup races to draw many runners regardless of the enticing prize cash on supply highlights why “a consolidation of the racing program” is required in British racing, the director of racing and Ascot publicist Nick Smith.
One of many eight races on Saturday’s Dubai Responsibility Free-sponsored stakes, the 7f categorized stakes, can have eight runners as a substitute of ten. The Group 3 occasion for three-year-olds and over, rated as much as 90, has £50,000 and included 26 earlier than the announcement stage.
The shortfall comes regardless of Ascot providing a file each day prize cash of £550,000, up from £360,000 in 2019, with bonuses being supplied as an additional incentive for runners.
Smith stated the diminished area highlighted why Ascot had backed the reform plans drawn up by a bunch linked to former BHB chairman Peter Savill whose plans included downsizing. whereas horse racing is 80-100.
He stated: “This reveals the lengths it’s important to go to get the numbers you need for this kind of setting. Though it is best to have a great payday on Saturday, clearly the occasions corresponding to these can be profitable sooner or later. There’ll should be some type of integration of the racing program for the advantage of the racing and betting trade.”
Smith stated he was not disenchanted by the announcement of the occasion, which has riders competing in 4 classes – Nice Britain and Eire, Women, Europe and Remainder of the World – because the seven races have runners who ten required.
He stated: “It is not disappointing. We lastly took the precaution final week to scale back from 12 runners to 10 which proved to be the best choice. We’re two brief within the race. one, and it is an additional race, because it stands seven. out of eight races there are ten dependable runners it is advisable make the occasion work.
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Nick Smith: director of racing and public affairs at Ascot
“That does not disguise the final problem of the dimensions of the sector. We do not have reserves in all of the races we need to have; once we acquired ten in these races it was solely ten. I believe the energy of the occasion, elevated wage and stuck bonuses, which appear to have much less sentiment, have helped.”
The quantity was anticipated to drop attributable to the price of residing
In one other twist, Saturday’s turnout can also be anticipated to be decrease than within the pre-pandemic yr. The tune is anticipating the same drop to King George’s Day, the place the determine of 18,462 was down nearly 8,000 from 2019.
Shergar Cup Day – which this yr will embrace a back-to-back live performance headlined by Clear Bandit – has attracted 23,505 spectators over the previous three years.
Smith added: “We will certainly be down [on 2019] additionally, it nearly resembles King George in the identical diploma. We had an amazing Royal Ascot which held up very effectively however, like most racecourses in the summertime, we discovered our Saturday crowds struggling.
“It relies upon solely on the price of residing drawback sadly. We’re affected person and we’re enjoying the lengthy recreation in order that we are able to entice them once more sooner or later.”
Learn extra right here:
Considerations in regards to the dimension of the sector prompted Ascot to return the Shergar Cup race to 10 runners
The Shergar Cup is again and greater and extra vital than ever
‘It was some of the highly effective scenes in racing I’ve seen – it was enormous’
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FIRST PUBLISHED 12:13PM, AUG 4 2022