Increased prize money for the John Smith’s Summer Cup at Uttoxeter Racecourse has helped to attract record entries to the race, which will take place on 26 June at the Staffordshire course.
Connections will now compete for a total prize fund of £80,000 in the Listed Handicap, run over 3m2f, which is one of the feature races of the summer jumping calendar. The strength of the 2016 entries is reflected in both the quality and quantity, both of which have seen a significant increase on recent years. Philip Hobbs’ popular chaser Menorah, the 11 year old two time Cheltenham Festival winner owned by Diana Whateley, heads up the list having recently finished second in the Perth Gold Cup.
A total of 42 horses are entered, with six from David Pipe’s yard including Ballnagour and Katkeau, as well as the Willie Mullins pair of Alechi Inois and Ballycasey, the latter owed by Susannah Ricci. Champion trainer Paul Nicholls enters three, including the Stewart Family’s Pacha du Polder, who gave Olympic cyclist turned amateur jockey Victoria Pendleton a fantastic run in the Foxhunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Uttoxeter Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Charlie Moore, said, “We are delighted that trainers have looked to support the John Smith’s Summer Cup so well this year, given the commitment that we have made to significantly increase the prize money.
“Both the quality and quantity of entries are fantastic, and to see the likes of Menorah and Ballnagour entered will hopefully give racegoers and punters a really exciting and compelling race at the peak of the summer jumping season.”
David Pipe, four times winner of the Midlands Grand National who has six entries said, “I commented on the increase in the value of the Midlands National earlier in the year and am delighted that Uttoxeter is making prizemoney a priority throughout the year. This race is the highlight of the summer programme and one we all want to win as you can see from the quality of the entries.”
Uttoxeter Racecourse has been enjoying a bright start to 2016, with strong attendances and average field size increasing from 8.3 to 10.3 in the first five months of the year. The new panoramic 1907 restaurant opened in March at the Betfred Midlands Grand National meeting where the feature race was won by Evan Williams’ Firebird Flyer. For more information on Uttoxeter Racecourse or to buy tickets, please visit www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk.