SCOTTISH Racing has been given a significant vote of confidence with the launch of the Betfair Scottish Flat Racing series. The series will consist of 27 qualifying races at Ayr, Hamilton and Musselburgh, then culminate in the autumn when prize-money totalling £45,000 on offer.
“I looked at how we invested in British Horseracing, and realised, perhaps to our shame, that we were very much London and the South-centric,” Betfair director Martin Cruddace said at yesterday’s launch in Edinburgh. “You realise there’s a whole world out there that supports us. We’re not frightened of saying that we’re dependent upon a healthy British horse-racing industry. We have a part to play in making sure it stays healthy. There’s a symbiotic relationship between the bookmaking industry, of which we are one, and racing. British horseracing is British: it’s across the whole country. So this is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in a series of qualifiers. It’s commercially beneficial to us, and shows we really care about horse-racing throughout the country. So we’re pretty proud to be doing it.”
Welcoming the investment, Musselburgh general manager Bill Farnsworth of Musselburgh said: “This series is for those horses which support our fixtures week in week out, and we rely on those horses. They usually race for £4,000 or £5,000, and this gives them something at the end of the season.”
Worth £15,000 each, the sprinters’ final will be held at Hamilton Park on 2 September, the milers’ final at Ayr on 10 September, and the stayers’ final at Musselburgh on 14 October.