Racing: Savill issues threat to off-course bookies

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THE NEED for greater financial input into racing was among the familiar themes of Peter Savill's address to the Gimcrack dinner at York last night. Referring to his Financial Plan, Savill said putting the sport on "a firm financial footing" was "the major challenge facing us all."

The word conspicuous by its absence from the address was "punter," despite the predictable call for a "substantial increase in the percentage of betting turnover returned to racing".

The BHB chairman also claimed "the key relationship in racing is between racehorse owners and racecourses, the performer and venue of the racing show."

Savill also threatened a "spectator friendly" fixture list, benefiting racecourses rather than off-course bookmakers, if an acceptable levy agreement is not negotiated within the next three months. "The betting industry argues such a policy... would have a negative effect on the levy," Savill said. "We beg to differ." If he is wrong, the consequences for the funding of racing could be disastrous.

Potter's Bay misses the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham to run at Doncaster.

Today's meeting at Hexham is off because of waterlogging.

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Rififi

(Lingfield 3.10)

NB: Fabulon

(Leicester 2.00)

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