The twelfth meeting of HBF, and its third of 2018, was held in London on 9th July. Below are some notes from that meeting covering many of the topics discussed.

HBF Business – Part One

Betting Charter
The HBF Betting Charter has been out for consultation for a number of months, and is to be finalized this month (August). Betting operators have been invited to comment on its content.

Starting Price Regulatory Commission
HBF are hopeful of making contact with SPRC after the summer to discuss various matters relating to the starting price.

Betting Deductions

HBF is producing a table of betting deductions on various horseracing bets where starting price or Best Odds Guaranteed is not applied, to help UK bettors understand how much of each wagered pound contributes to the prize fund. There is a (yet to be completed) version of this table here.

Race Distances

HBF noted that the BHA were now publishing the updated, correct race distances in race results when rail movements and other factors had caused a change to the advertised race distance. HBF welcomed this but asked for BHA to ensure consistency across the racecourse spectrum and, further, to investigate the possibility of rail movements being added to data feeds, such that they appear on e.g. Racing Post

Minimum Betting Margin
Following comments made by the ROA President, HBF agreed it was too early to take a view on the matter of a ‘minimum betting margin’ until more is known about the proposal.

Minimum Bet Liability
Progress has been made with some operators with regards to provision of a minimum bet liability. Paddy Power/Betfair have made an initial provision online, and HBF has worked closely with two further operators who are expected to provide a form of MBL in the coming weeks.


BHA Executive Slot:

Nick Rust, Chief Executive, and Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer, discussed HBF matters, including the following:


RW said this had been challenging for a number of logistical reasons, but there remained an intent to publish data relating to mares in foal. The aim is to introduce this ahead of the next breeding cycle, i.e. Q1 2019

Sectional Times

HBF encouraged the BHA to provide leadership and to ensure minimum standards. NR agreed with the rationale but said there were challenges related to BHA having no ownership of the data.

BHA Handicapping Review

RW said the aim for implementation was January 2019. RW advised that several items are in progress, including the Handicapping Appeals Panel, and further information around the Review will be published later in Q3.

Race clashes

HBF said there should be more communication from the BHA around race clashes and why they take place. Leicester clashing with the Old Newton Cup at Haydock Park was cited as a recent example. BHA reviewed that specific example where the runners at Leicester had been at the post for some time and were getting very hot, with a couple becoming fractious. In that specific instance, the stipendiary stewards took the sensible decision that they couldn’t hold and they eventually jumped at 1.51.09.


HBF Business – Part Two


HBF will repeat its overrounds review in January.

2018 Punter Survey

HBF is planning a further bettors’ survey and agreed the survey needs to be shared more widely this year. The survey will be published in the next few weeks.


Picture delays and illegal streaming were discussed and considered as damaging to the sport. HBF is in discussions with Betfair and Racing UK on the subject.

HBF Membership

HBF will be seeking to refresh its membership ahead of its next meeting, with one, perhaps two, new member(s) joining. Invitations to apply will be published soon.

Black Dave / Rule 4 / UKGC
HBF has added a statement to the website in response to the Gambling Commission’s statement.

Going Stick
HBF has representation on the BHA-driven Going Stick Working Party, which is more widely looking into ways of improving the accuracy and accountability of going descriptions. This may involve using timing analysis during and after a meeting has taken place and less extensive but nonetheless indicative Going Stick readings shortly before the start of racing.

Next Meeting
HBF will next convene in the week of 15th October.



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