sport

12 new fixtures for Chelmsford

Chelmsford City racecourse has been approved allocation of 12 'start-up' racedays for next year by the British Horseracing Authority.

The currently-closed venue at Great Leighs in Essex has been purchased by a syndicate headed by Fred Done of Betfred, and is to be renamed with a view to reopening in 2015.

Chelmsford City can then apply for further BHA-controlled fixtures, via the annual fixture allocation process.

After its latest meeting, the BHA board has also informed Arena Racing Company that any of Newcastle's existing Flat Turf meetings can be transferred to their new proposed all-weather track.

The fixtures total in 2015 is set to be similar to the 1,464 of 2014, while consultation on various topics is still ongoing.

Ruth Quinn, director of racing for BHA, said: "Firstly, we would like to place on record our appreciation for the level of participation and constructive engagement in the consultation process, including the wide range of suggestions for opportunities to improve field sizes.

"A number of factors raised in the consultation were taken into account by the executive and board when determining what the overall size of the fixture list should be.

"These included general concern over the number of small-field races and the support of the majority of respondents for maintaining the size of the fixture list.

"Meanwhile, consultation will continue on the allocation of BHA-controlled fixtures and initiatives to address small field sizes, including a possible reduction in the number of total races run in the overall race programme, as proposed by BHA in the consultation document."