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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Hannon Blasts Arena Leisure

Richard Hannon gave Arena Leisure both barrels on Tuesday in another attack on the pitiful state of British prize money, describing their management team as "a complete joke in that they are running glorified flapping meetings".

Hannon also "wholeheartedly agrees" with Mark Johnston, who in the latest issue of Kingsley Klarion described British prize money as "appallingly bad".

He added:"We read that Arena enjoyed a 10.4% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit during 2010 to £5.4m and that attendances on their racecourses were up by 4.2% and hospitality increased by 17.1%, so how can they possibly justify their actions in slashing prize money levels. Their shareholders will be delighted with these latest figures, but they are taking racing for a ride and it just cannot go on this way.

"We are making a stand in not running our horses on these tracks where prize money falls below the race-tariff recommendations, but we need to be united on this issue and we urge other trainers to do likewise.

''Mark Johnston had 10 runners in Deauville last month, and, though he only had one winner, eight of the other nine were placed and he picked up £47,000 for his owners, more than twice as much as he would have earned in Britain. So the powers-that-be who run British racing should not be surprised if more and more trainers decide to target France.

"Lingfield have a meeting on April 26 where the prize money is beyond belief, and we certainly won't be sending runners there, and it is the same at Wolverhampton. Action is needed, and needed quickly. Otherwise it will be too late."