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BHA Aims UK Prize Cuts At Bottom Scale Race
Owners of moderate horses racing in Britain "will find the going even tougher in 2008, following the British Horseracing Authority's decision to target cuts to minimum values at the bottom end of the quality scale," reported racingpost.co.uk. Classes 4, 5 & 6 (which are generally limited to horses rated up to 85 on the Flat) "have had their minimum values reduced by double-figure percentages". The lowest-grade Flat races will have a £2,600 (A$6,200) total prize fund in 2008, compared with £3,000 (A$7,200) this year. At the other end of the scale, "cuts of 2.7% & 5.9% have been applied to minimum values for Gr1 & Gr2 races for 3YOs, but the level for Gr3, Listed & most Class 2 races has been maintained". The minimum for all Class 1 & 2 races for 2YOs will also remain the same. BHA racing director Ruth Quinn summed up: "With a £5.5 million (A$13.2m) drop in prize-money from the Levy Board, minimum values had to be addressed to avoid wholesale downgrading of the race programme. The BHA board was very keen to take an approach that protected, as far as possible, those races at the top end of the scale, as opposed to applying a fairly consistent reduction across all classes." Quinn added Britain's international competitiveness was a factor in the decision.