The British Horseracing Authority has issued the following revised General Instruction to Racecourses relating to Reserves, which is reproduced below for the information of owners and trainers. In those races where there is to be standard provision for reserves, the race conditions will refer to the protocol as described in the notice below, rather than repeat the details each time in full.

In the event that differing provisions for reserves to those outlined below have been applied for by the Managing Executive of the Racecourse and subsequently approved by the BHA, these will continue to be included within the individual race conditions, or in a special notice in The Racing Calendar, to which the race conditions will refer.


Races eligible for the inclusion of reserves

1. - A Managing Executive may apply to the Racing Department for the inclusion of reserves in those races which are classified as follows:-  

Group 1 Flat races;
Heritage Handicaps;
Grade 3 Jump Handicaps with 48-hour declarations.

2. - An application for the inclusion of reserves in any other race, or any deviation from the conditions as set out below, must be made to the Racing Department at the earliest planning stage so that it may be considered by the Racing Committee in advance of publication of the race conditions.


Determination of reserves

3. - The race conditions must stipulate the maximum number of runners and the maximum number of reserves.

4. - The trainers of horses which may be eliminated from the race must indicate at the declaration stage whether they are prepared for their horse to be a reserve. If a trainer does not make any such indication and cannot be contacted immediately after the declaration stage, the horse will not stand as a reserve.

5. - In the event that the number of declared horses exceeds the maximum number of runners, reserves will be selected from amongst those which are subject to elimination and for which their trainers have confirmed to the Racing Calendar Office that they are prepared for their horse to stand as a reserve, in order of their position in the elimination sequence (in handicaps, as most recently adjusted to take account of penalties). Where two or more horses have identical ratings or assessments in a weight-for-age race or identical weights in a handicap race, their position in the elimination sequence will have been allocated by random ballot.

6. - The reserves will be placed in order in accordance with the elimination sequence, with the first reserve being the reserve with the highest elimination sequence number. Each reserve will be given its own racecard number. For the avoidance of any doubt, in a race with a safety factor of 30 and three reserves, the first reserve would be allotted a racecard number of 31, the second reserve 32 and the third reserve 33.

7. - When making the draw for Flat races, a reserve will be allotted a draw position. This position would be removed from the starting stalls in the event that the reserve does not run. For the avoidance of any doubt, in a race with a safety factor of 30 and three reserves, the declared horses including the reserves would be allotted a draw between 1 and 33.


Replacement of a declared runner with a reserve

8. - In the event of a non-runner being notified to the Racing Calendar Office by 1.00 p.m. on the day before the race, the first reserve will replace that non-runner.

9. - If there are further non-runners by this time, the remaining reserves will replace those horses in the same way.

10. - Declarations of riders for any reserves which obtain a run will be required by 1.30 p.m. on the day before the race.

11. - In handicap races in which a reserve has been afforded the opportunity to run, weights may be raised at 1.00 p.m. on the day before the race in the same manner as at the 48-hour declaration stage if there are any relevant non-runners notified to the Racing Calendar Office by that time. Weights will not be raised if all declared runners are already in the weights (including penalties, excluding riders’ allowances) at the 1.00pm deadline.

If this is not the case and the weights are raised at this time, revised declaration of riders will be accepted for all declared runners up to 1.30 p.m. on the same day.

12. - All payments made prior to the race for any horse which is eliminated or is a reserve and was subsequently not afforded the opportunity to run shall be returned.