THERE is to be more Sunday horse racing across Britain next year.
The news comes as Chester prepares for its annual Sunday family fun day fixture this weekend.
Sunday racing has been successful at the Roodee since it was introduced in the mid 1990s. Now there will be much more in the rest of the country as British horse racing sets about its most radical overhaul in years.
The 2004 fixture list will be announced at the end of the week. In it there will be more Saturday evening and Sunday fixtures, fewer meetings on most Bank Holidays and a 320-day stretch with just a one-day break.
The long period, with just Good Friday off, is from the start of February until a week before Christmas. Added to that is the introduction of 'regional' at some courses - lower-grade races aimed at ensuring that as many horses as possible get a chance.
The National Trainers' Federation supports the moves by the British authorities, as does the Racehorse Owners' Association, though the latter is still pressing for greater prize-money in 'regional' racing.
The British Horseracing Board argues that an additional reason for regional racing is to provide betting shops with British races at times, such as late mornings, when bookmakers are devising other products for their punters.
Jockeys' representatives, however, have expressed concerns about the increase in their workloads.
Next racing at Chester is on Sunday. Admission to the County Stand is £22, to Tattersalls and paddock £15, Dee Stand £7 and open course £5.
Next racing at Bangor on Dee is Friday - first race 2.15pm - and admission is £12 paddock, £6 course.