Number of runners down after boycott is called - but racing at Fontwell is ON

Action from last Sunday's racing at Fontwell / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Action from last Sunday's racing at Fontwell / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Fontwell Park's midweek jumps meeting is ON - but with fewer runners than would normally be expected.

The Wednesday afternoon fixture is one at several over the next three days at Arena Racing Company-owned racecourses which is being affected by a boycott by some trainersin a protest over cuts to prize money.

At Fontwell, 27 runners have been declared across six races - while at Lingfield, six races are due to feature a total of just 17 horses.

It is part of an ongoing dispute in the industry over decreasing amounts of prize money at some fixtures which trainers have said mean it is not worth them putting runners up.

Fontwell bosses ARC say there are talks progressing which are aimed at resolving the stand-off and take the view that it is an industry-wide problem brought on by changes to the laws on fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops which are resulting in less money being made available to racecourses.

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Trainer Ralph Beckett led the calls last week to other yards to boycott ARC meetings and many have agreed to do so. The numbers running at Fontwell on Wednesday are about half, or perhaps a little more what they would normally expect. After this three-day period where boycotts have been encouraged, a truce - at least a temporary one until the end of March - has been called to allow talks to continue.

On the track at Fontwell racing begins at 2.10pm and continues until 4.40pm.

Our tips: 210 Upham Running, 240 Captain Tommy, 310 Cafe Au Lait, 340 Urca De Lima, 410 Red Devil Star, 440 Lily The Pink.