David MacDonald, Head of Stadia for the Coral branch of Ladbrokes Coral Group plc, concedes that the plan to pay unattached trainers £15 appearance money in open races will cost the company in the region of £50,000 per year.
He said: “It is hardly commercially sensitive information; Romford is the most active open race track in the country with Hove also near the top of the list. 66 runners spread between the two tracks in the course of a week comes to £1,000.
“Not only do we have big volumes, we already pay some of the top prize money in the country – and have done so for years.
“I believe in the value to our business of open racing, and these bonuses seem the right thing to do. To be honest, it nearly happened a year ago, but at that stage we put the extra cash into prize money.”