The British Horseracing Authority revealed the fixture list for the first four months of 2021 on Wednesday after the Levy Board agreed a package that will support the staging of racing in the short-term.

A total of £31.9 million has been allocated by the HBLB with £24.4m distributed to prize-money, a 46% increases on the normal level paid by the organisation during this period. £6.85m worth of funds will go towards regulatory costs and other grants.

As a result, the fixture list for January-April 2021 has been developed with a view to maximising revenue for all while safeguarding participants wellbeing and taking into account the horse population.

There will be a total of 448 meetings scheduled to take place in the first four months of 2021, three fewer than this year. Of those 448 fixtures, 246 will be National Hunt meetings and 202 Flat cards.

All-weather cards will be extended to included up to nine races and race times will be set with the aim of providing a continuous product for the betting industry with a last race time of no later than 8:30pm between Monday to Saturday.

Provisionally, a total of 1,366 fixtures have been allocated for 2021 with further fixtures to be confirmed in due course subject to further information regarding the return of spectators, size of the horse population and level of finance available from all sources.

Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA, said: “Although the current unprecedented levels of uncertainty make planning for the future challenging, the publication of a fixture list and minimum prize-money levels for the first four months of next year provides the sport with clarity over racing’s plans for the immediate future.

“In addition, by publishing the confirmed dates of major fixtures for the remainder of the year, we hope this will help owners, participants and racecourses begin to make their plans for 2020.

“We continue to discuss with government a consistent approach to allowing sporting events to go ahead with spectators as soon as possible but in developing the fixture list for the beginning of next year, we have focussed on creating a schedule that maximises off-course betting turnover and, where possible, reduces the costs of staging fixtures.

“In doing so, we have also sought to reduce the pressures on racing’s workforce of servicing the fixture list including by staging extended cards on the all-weather with a corresponding decrease in fixture numbers.

“We are particularly grateful to the Horserace Betting Levy Board for their continued financial support which has enabled us to confirm that pre-Covid minimum values will remain in place for mid and lower-tier races, whilst also retaining the appearance money scheme that is popular with many owners.

“Their enhanced support, however, is not sustainable, and ahead of racing presenting proposals for fixture funding for the remainder of the year, efforts continue to generate additional support, including – at the government’s request – producing a submission setting out the economic impact across the whole of racing, including what will be lost by racing without the public through the winter.

“Moreover we are continuing to press the case for urgent reform of the levy, which would help racing too become more self-sufficient and reduce the need for government spending on the sport, the likes of which we are seeing in other racing nations at present.

“British racing is rightly admired around the world but without progress in this key are, we risk becoming uncompetitive with our international colleagues, which could have catastrophic and long-lasting implications for the future of our sport.”