Racing: Overnight rider plan unveiled

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The Independent Online
THE NEW agency that will attempt to make the compulsory overnight declaration of jockeys workable when the scheme comes into being on 7 September was unveiled yesterday.

The National Jockeys Booking Agency has been set up in Newbury at the headquarters of the Jockeys Association to act as the link between trainers and riders under the official system for the overnight declaration of jockeys, OJOCS.

The idea behind the scheme is to bring more complete information to punters and also to ensure that the Jockey Club has total control over the whole, possibly marketable, package of racecard data. This would usurp the role of the Press Association, which currently collates riding arrangements with a 98 per cent success rate. No agreement has been reached yet with that agency, who will thus run a parallel service which will still be used by the majority of the media.

The Jockey Club has invested up to pounds 200,000 in the new system, which has the yet to win the widespread support of the industry. Agents representing the leading Flat jockeys have threatened to boycott the scheme which will also place extra demands on trainers.