Arc agrees to raise prize-money levels for another week

Arena Racing Company's temporary agreement to raise prize-money in order to unlock Levy Board funding for lower-grade racing has been extended for another week until April 8.

The step has been taken to allow more time for discussions in the prize-money dispute between the racecourse group and trainers.

The move applies to all Arc-owned fixtures from April 1 to 8 inclusive, and relates specifically to Class 4 to 6 races on the Flat and Class 3 to 5 races over jumps.

Earlier this month Arc agreed with the National Trainers Federation that it would commit the necessary prize-money to trigger Levy Board funding for all eligible races in March.

That climbdown followed days of rising tension between the racecourse group and trainers, who boycotted several races following Arc's decision to cut nearly £3 million from its 2019 prize-money contribution, money which in turn would have unlocked £4.5m in levy funding for lower-grade racing.

An Arc spokesman said on Saturday: "Constructive discussions between horsemen, racecourses and BHA have been ongoing in recent weeks. To allow further time for an agreement to be reached, we have taken the step to unlock eligible races for the first week of April."

The increases will be made to race conditions in the coming days, so they come into force by the time the races close for entries.