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Top 50 Betting Races of 2003: Tracks need to beware the financial peril of small fields.

Byline: Howard Wright

RACECOURSES about to negotiate with bookmakers over the sale of live pictures to betting shops would be advised to pay heed to one statistic highlighted in the table of top 50 betting races last year.

Only three races with single-figure fields are on Ladbrokes' list - the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Cathcart Cup and Arkle Trophy - yet even these races met the criterion for each-way betting down to three places.

The demand from bookmakers for at least eight runners to maximise betting turnover has always been evident.

Now, however, it means money to the racecourses, since the new contract includes provision for a cut in the basic rate of payment if field sizes fail to match the ideal.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2004
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