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BHB delays fix tures bidding process.

Byline: Howard Wright

THE BHB has been forced to delay the historic new bidding process for fixtures in 2006, which was due to have started on Friday, writes Howard Wright. Instead, that day has been scheduled for another trial of the computer-assisted system, after last week's less-than-perfect first attempt.

Provided the radical new auction process passes this test, 187 BHB fixtures will be put up for grabs during the six working days between June 20 and 27 inclusive.

The change of plan, which is not expected to delay the overall publication of the 2006 calendar, was relayed to the courses by BHB racing director Ruth Quinn, who described some of last week's failings as ``alarming and disappointing''.

However, she pointed out: ``It must be appreciated that however much testing is completed in a test environment, this type of problem is not untypical when switching to a live system.''

The process incorporates two windows of opportunity for courses to bid for named fixtures, and is carried out over a secure link with Weatherbys.

The particular problem that fouled up last week's trial occurred during the secondary window, a closed session of ten minutes that involves only a handful of courses, determined by their position in the first open session.

Quinn said the error had been corrected ``with relative ease'' and that a subsequent full live test had ``proved entirely successful''.

BHB communications manager Alan Delmonte said a report had been given to the board yesterday, and added: ``There is complete confidence that the problems have been ironed out.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2005
Words:257
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