Swindon boss Bill Glass has warned that the current racing strength threatens the future of Friday evening racing but advises trainers not to read more into it.
Swindon have cancelled two Friday meetings in January for “commercial reasons” though it will be a shortage of runners that threaten a long term cancellation policy.
He said: “We were always planning to drop two Fridays in January. The whole industry suffers at the start of the year and last year we had two meetings where the total attendance combined was under 300. We drop Tuesday meetings at Poole for the same.
“Later in the year we had many lucrative Friday nights but circumstances have changed.
“Firstly, we are now racing on Friday mornings for BAGS and several trainers will be unable to turn the operation round to be back at the stadium by evening.
“We also have a kennel strength roughly 40 dogs short of the ideal. That is largely due to the opening of Towcester with a couple of other smaller factors.
“But it is important to remember that Friday night is our ‘fifth’ meeting of the week and therefore the most vulnerable. We certainly wouldn’t be sacrificing a BAGS meeting.
“There is only one other provincial track that races five times a week, Kinsley, but we struggle to justify it.
“We are looking to recruit more trainers but we are perhaps victims of our payment policy.
“Compare our prize money to certain other tracks and it is a fair bit lower. But that doesn’t take into account the non-prize money payments including ‘per dog’ payments, diesel allowances and bonuses which amount to 40% on top of prize money spend.
“Indeed I have asked numerous trainers in the past if we should put increases into prize money or bonuses and they always reply with the latter.
“What irritates me is that I have explained the situation to any trainer that asks so to claim that we are running the stadium down is entirely disingenuous.”