In light of coverage in today's Racing Post Arena Racing Company ("ARC") issues the following statement.
ARC's Chairman, David Thorpe, comments:
"I am very disappointed in the Racing Post's coverage of an issue that they have reported in a manner that is neither reasonable nor accurate,"
"As some in British Racing will be aware the Racing Post has currently failed to sign up to an agreement to pay a fair price for receiving official pre-race data from the sport via Racecourse Data Company. This is despite all other major users of pre-race data being able to reach an agreement. Despite numerous attempts to engage constructively with the Racing Post this issue remains unresolved.
"It would appear that in retaliation the Racing Post is choosing to take a consistently negative approach to many organisations and individuals within the industry which it seeks to blame for the current state of affairs. On repeated occasions this has included derogatory comments about ARC, with today's front page simply being another example of that.
"In the last few weeks alone the Racing Post chose to portray the renewal of one of the most successful sponsorships in British Racing in a questionable light rather than celebrate it; run a ‘From the Vaults' piece highlighting the closure of Royal Windsor's jump track in 1998, long before ARC's involvement; questioned our continued commitment to Great Yarmouth Racecourse despite our investment in replacing and improving the track, and has today run the piece on prize money in 2013.
"We should welcome having a newspaper dedicated to covering the sport which most people agree is the best horseracing in the world. However, in my opinion with the Racing Post taking its current stance this is simply not the case."
ARC's Managing Director, Tony Kelly, responded as follows:
"ARC would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that its formation in 2012 led to a very significant increase in prize money levels across racecourses which were previously owned by Arena and Northern Racing. In 2010 Executive Contribution for Arena and Northern racecourses totalled £3.5m which in 2014 will have increased to £11.3m, an increase of 223% on the 2010 level.
"ARC has made an asserted effort to work with horsemen in numerous areas. Quite apart from the increases in prize money ARC has introduced complimentary catering at all our tracks for owners and trainers from 2013; installed large screens for viewing at every track, and introduced the All-Weather Championships in the 2013-14 season.
"Of particular significance, in March 2014 ARC signed a Prize Money Agreement with the Horsemen's Group and the British Horseracing Authority ("BHA"), thereby ensuring racing's participants a calculated and guaranteed share in ARC's future growth. I am encouraged by the positive comments from others in the industry about the establishment of this Prize Money Agreement."
"Furthermore, ARC takes its position seriously as a major investor within British Racing and works closely with other stakeholders in racing to try and grow income for the sport to the benefit of all. This included working alongside the BHA, The Jockey Club and Horsemen's Group in the signing of the landmark deal with Betfair, as well as securing the Additional Voluntary Contribution from the major bookmakers as part of the ongoing levy discussions. More latterly ARC is currently engaged in conversations with stakeholders about the future of the levy, or its replacement."