The 2013 British horse racing fixture list will include eight more fixtures than in 2012 despite concerns over both the funding of the sport and prize money levels in the sport.
With two less racecourses following the decision to close Folkestone and Hereford and Great Leighs yet to return to the calendar, the 1,464 fixtures will be staged at 59 racecourses from Perth in the northern half of Scotland to Newton Abbot in the south west of England and Great Yarmouth in the east of England to Ffos Las in west Wales.
The 1464 are made up of 890 flat horse racing fixtures and 574 national hunt horse racing meetings. The figures represent an increase of 14 meetings on the flat and a reduction of six National Hunt fixtures, partly explained by Hereford’s closure. The flat fixtures are broken down into 583 on turf and 207 on the all-weather at Kempton Park, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton. In regards to timings, 1113 of the 1,464 racing fixtures will take place in the afternoon, 253 will be evening meetings during the late spring and summer months and 98 are classified as twilight meetings starting in late afternoon.
The most significant move in 2013 sees the Welsh Grand National move from its usual December 27 date – 24 hours after the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park – to the Saturday between Christmas and New Year, which this year falls on December 28. The comes with Channel 4 taking over the television coverage now that the BBC no longer screen horse racing. The Oaks, meanwhile, will take place at Epsom in May in 2013 on May 31st with The Derby, which is always staged on the first Saturday in June, falling on June 1st.
Others changes to the 2013 horse racing calendar from this year adding a twilight meeting on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival and extra afternoon fixtures on the opening days of both Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood – all three to accommodate demand from bookmakers.
The flat season will once again culminate with the 2013 QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot, with next year’s grand finale to the flat campaign taking place on October 20.