Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) and Chepstow Racecourse are pleased to announce the introduction of the new Totepool Chepstow Jumps Festival on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 October. This festival marks the start of the winter jumping campaign and has received significant investment from ARC with £250,000 of prize money up for grabs across the festival.
The feature race of this festival is the Grade Three £50,000 Totepool Silver Trophy (Handicap Hurdle). The festival also includes the Grade Two £30,000 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle, a £30,000 Veterans’ Chase, two £25,000 Handicap Chases’ as well as a £20,000 Novices’ Chase. There will also be a £20,000 Handicap Hurdle for Four-Year-Olds only.
Top class horses such as Silviniaco Conti, Cue Card, Sire De Grugy and Don’t Push It have all run in these races in recent years.
The Tote, as the headline sponsors, have kindly agreed to provide complimentary food for all stable staff over the festival. Totepool Marketing and Sponsorship Executive, Adam Smith said: “We are absolutely delighted to sponsor the Totepool Chepstow Jumps Festival and what an opening weekend of the National Hunt season it promises to be. As racing’s biggest supporter we are also proud to be helping provide refreshments for all stable staff across the two days. Both days offer very attractive prize money and we are hopeful of seeing some of this season’s stars lining up to kick-start their campaign in South Wales this October.”
The festival commences with the Reuben Foundation Jump Legends Charity Race in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Last year’s victorious jockey Graham Bradley returns to defend his title, along with 2013 winner Jimmy Frost, Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey and trainer Jim Culloty, Jimmy McCarthy, Brendan Powell and Kevin Mooney.
Bob Champion MBE said: “We are very grateful to the Reuben Foundation’s ongoing support and delighted Chepstow is hosting this race for the third year. We hope it will be another exciting race and raises lots of money to help support our research team’s essential work.”
The festival will also include a Trainers’ Championship. The winner of this will receive £1,000 worth of products from Countrywide Stores, as well as a cash prize of £500 awarded to the stable staff of the winning yard which is being donated by Chepstow Racecourse. It will be a point based system with ten points to each race winner, six for second, three for third and one point for fourth.
Champion National Hunt Trainer, Paul Nicholls said: “I have sent some of my very best horses to Chepstow for the October meetings over the years, including Silviniaco Conti, Hinterland, Just A Par and Far West, and with the extra prize money on offer this year I will definitely be readying a squad for this new festival. I think it’s great to see Chepstow investing in their jumps programme and I hope plenty of trainers will support this initiative.”
Chepstow Racecourse Executive Director, Phil Bell said: “Everyone in jump racing views Chepstow’s first October Saturday meeting as the proper start of the winter campaign. This year we wanted to capitalise on that fact and have therefore created an exciting two-day festival with significant prize money. We are looking forward to welcoming the big names in our sport to Chepstow. There is plenty of other entertainment over the weekend so we can maximise the numbers of people coming through the gates.”
Ahead of racing on the Saturday there will be The Jump Season Preview Evening on Friday 9 October, hosted by BBC Wales’ and At The Races’ Aly Rowell. A panel of experts, including leading Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan, current leader in the Jump Jockeys’ Championship Richard Johnson and Mark Pearson from Betfred, will preview the forthcoming jump season. Tickets are £29 and include a buffet meal and a ticket for racing on Sunday 11 October.
As well as the top class jump racing across the weekend there will be live music on both days and racegoers will also be able to watch live coverage of the Wales versus Australia Rugby World Cup game on the big screen and numerous TVs around the course after racing on Saturday. Other entertainments include pony racing, a mascots’ race and children’s entertainers on Family Day on the Sunday.
Full details can be found on the Chepstow Racecourse website