Protests Lead To One Horse Race In England

By: Sarah Fortnum
April 15th, 2011

A horse at England’s Leicester Racecourse is guaranteed to win more than $AU 9,000 in prize money when he runs in a one horse race this weekend.

Saint Helena will pick up £6,000 for her efforts in the Bet Totepool At Handicap, despite being the only runner in the race.

The race was left with just one runner after the other horses were withdrawn due to lower than expected prize money.

Ralph Beckett was one of the many trainers who chose to scratch their horses from the field in protest.

“Since the protests started an extra £5 million has been generated in prize money, which is a significant step,” Mr Beckett said.

“Now prize money is on everyone’s agenda, which hasn’t always been the case.”

The three-year-old filly left in the race will undertake a walkover, in which the horse will canter down to the furlong pole and back again.

“A walkover is infinitely better than a void race because the racecourse has to go through the whole rigmarole of running a race,” Mr Beckett said.

As of what to do with the guaranteed winnings, Mr Beckett is encouraging Saint Helena’s trainer, Harry Dunlop, to donate the money to charity.

“It’s been suggested to Harry that his owner gives what’s left after expenses to charity,” he said.

This will be England’s first one horse race since 2007.

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