Arena Racing Company has reached an agreement with the UK’s National Trainers Federation to commit the necessary prize-money to unlock levy board funding for all eligible races in March.
The climbdown followed days of rising tension between the racecourse group and trainers, who have boycotted several races over Arc’s decision to cut nearly £3 million from its 2019 prize-money contribution, money which in turn would have unlocked £4.5 million in levy funding for lower-grade racing.
Arc earlier proposed reassigning prize-money from the top of its race programme in order to access the levy funding, but many trainers rejected the compromise and planned to boycott forthcoming meetings.
The new agreement will see Arc commit fresh prize-money to its programme, although the sum will be reduced by £55,000 to reflect the financial impact of trainers declining to run horses in races at Lingfield and Sedgefield. As such, Arc’s new contribution is understood to be in the region of £180,000 and will unlock around £364,000 of levy funding.
Arc chief executive Martin Cruddace said: “We are pleased to continue constructive dialogue with the NTF. The racing industry has wider issues to address beyond this specific prize-money debate and we clearly have bridges to build. As such we are delighted that negotiations will begin on Tuesday.”