The quality of racing in the UK will suffer if the problem of poor prize money is not resolved, a prominent owner warned on December 14.
The message came during a speech by Paul Hensey on Tuesday on behalf of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani and Al Shaqab Racing at the 250th Gimcrack Dinner in York.
Lusail won Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes (G2) in York in August for Al Shaqab, which has scaled back its UK operations in recent years. Hensey said it wasn’t fair to bring up the subject of poor prize money at York, which he describes as “one of the races that really put in the effort in the field.”
He added: “It was a pleasure to read the (recent) announcement of an increase in prize money at Jockey Club races, but England is lagging behind the rest of the world and unless this issue is resolved. decided soon, it will start to affect the quality of the race here.”
Outlining other concerns, Hensey added: “Brexit has caused many problems for the movement of horses in and out of the country. There are veterinary and financial constraints that need to be addressed.
“It is good to see the recent progress being made and also to see senior EU politicians involved. But the importance of keeping the border as close as frictionless as possible is that very important to international trade and competition.”
Hensey also said public perception of racing continues to be an issue, with the sport having a “habit of shooting itself in the foot”.
He added: “Sports needs to be more proactive in this. There are so many positive stories to tell and sometimes we’re slow to blow our own. It’s important to let the community not race. know about all the good things going on in our great sport.”
Hensey, who was appointed chief executive of Al Shaqab last year, has backed the effort to create a racing version of the popular Formula One documentary series Drive to Survive.
“At a time when traditional media coverage is under a lot of pressure, this initiative could open new doors to the sport and attract long-term, savvy fans who are will go racing and be able to own the horse at the right time,” he added. “I would urge all industry groups to put their personal interests aside and regroup as we did during the pandemic to make this a reality.”
ITV sporting director Niall Sloane also came to speak at the event but was unable to attend.
A copy of the speech he plans to give has been posted on York’s website, in which Sloane said ITV has people who want to be involved in securing the future of motorsport and claim the sport Sports consider them if it wants “independent advice and informed opinions.”
He added: “Over the past year, we’ve seen some pretty bad optics around the sport, both from the nasty actions of a single individual, to angry frustrations. of the fighters and constituent members of the race negotiated for months and failed to agree on anything.
“Many sports say they’re in a permanent crisis. But that’s usually because they’ve become fixated on the here and now rather than trying to build for the future. If we’re going to be communicating with one another, we’re going to be in a state of crisis. general purpose and transparency for the sake of racing, that certainly has to be a start.”
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/255590/al-shaqab-uses-gimcrack-speech-to-warn-british-racing Al Shaqab uses Gimcrack Speech to warn of British racing