All Set for The Open at Cheltenham Racecourse
Jump racing is just around the corner and the biggest race meeting this side of Christmas, The Open at Cheltenham Racecourse, will see a six per cent increase in prize money over the three days, with a record £743,000 on offer.
The Open takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 15 to 17.
The Shloer Chase, run over two miles on the Sunday, will be worth £70,000 and has been promoted to Listed status; Wishfull Thinking won the 2012 renewal.
There is a new Listed Fillies’ Bumper on the card as well, taking place as the last race on the Saturday, worth £20,000.
The Open sees bookmaker Paddy Power renew its long association with the Home of Jump Racing which started in 2003.
In a three-year deal, the Irish bookmaker will be the title sponsor of the second day, The Paddy Power Open Saturday. In addition, it will continue to sponsor a race on the Friday, the paddypower.com Handicap Chase, and as well as the feature race on the Saturday, the Grade Three BetVictor Gold Cup, worth £160,000 and run over an extended two and a half miles.
Both races last year were won by Paul Nicholls, with Shooters Wood successful in the Friday event and Al Ferof taking the Paddy Power Gold Cup and thus providing the trainer with his first victory in the main contest at The Open.
In addition, Murphy Group will sponsor the Grade Three handicap chase run over an extended three mile and three furlongs on the Saturday, worth £50,000, which was won last year by subsequent Welsh National scorer Monbeg Dude. Murphy Group previously sponsored a handicap chase on Festival Trials Day.
Paddy Power, spokesman for Paddy Power, commented: “The Open, featuring the Paddy Power Gold Cup, is not just the first Jump festival of the season, but also a brilliant one that gets better every year.
“We’ve a perfect 10 under our belt, and are delighted to have at least another three years to look forward to. It has been a great Flat season, but now it’s time to get down to the real business!”
John Stack, chief executive officer of Murphy Group, commented: “I am very pleased that J. Murphy & Sons Limited are continuing the partnership with Cheltenham Racecourse and even more pleased that we have upgraded the race we sponsor to the Saturday of The Open Meeting. We are very much looking forward to the day.”
Sophia Brudenell, communications manager for Cheltenham Racecourse, added: “The Open is very much positioned as the premier race meeting pre-Christmas, with around 70,000 racegoers enjoying three unique days of top-class racing.
“It is great news that both Paddy Power and Murphy Group have renewed their sponsorship at Cheltenham.”
For more information or to book tickets, please visit www.cheltenham.co.uk
About The Open
The Open is a prestigious and historic three-day meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse and signals that the new Jump season is in full swing. There is record prize money of £743,000 in 2013, with the feature Paddy Power Gold Cup worth £160,000.
Staged on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 15, 16 & 17, The Open is the second highest-profile meeting at the Home of Jump Racing, after The Festival in March, and a major event in its own right.
The Open provides thrilling competition between many of the best Jump horses in Europe, with an attendance of around 70,000 over the three days.
It is an extended weekend of entertainment, sport and fun not to be missed, aided by 80 trade stands in The Open shopping village.
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