The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is pleased to confirm details of the three valuable Novices’ Handicap Chases announced earlier in the season as part of the trial of changes to the Novices’ Chase programme. The three races, each worth £60,000, will take place at Ascot, Ayr and Haydock, and will be match funded by the racecourses and the Levy Board. The races form part of the incentive to help boost field sizes in Novices’ Chases and in order to qualify horses will need to have run in at least two weight-for-age Novices’ Chases during the season.
The race details are as follows:
April 7th Ascot (2m 0-145)
April 20th Ayr (3m 0-145)
May 11th Haydock (2m 4f Open)
The BHA is grateful to both the Levy Board and the racecourses involved for funding these races.
Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the BHA, said:
“The inclusion of three valuable Novices’ Handicap Chases towards the end of the season was an integral part of the changes that have been trialled for the Novices’ Chase programme since 1st October. These races act as an additional incentive to run horses in weight-for-age Novices’ Chases and could also reward those trainers and owners that have done so, with total prize money of £180,000 across the three races.
“We have been pleased with the manner in which the trial has met its objectives of boosting field sizes and competition in Novices’ Chases. We also recently had a constructive meeting with representatives of the National Trainers Federation to discuss approaches to the Novices’ Chase programme for next season. We will be considering the trial as part of our end of season review process with the BHA’s Jump Racing Committee, against the original objectives that we set.”
Tasha Power, Operations Executive for the Levy Board, said:
“Novices’ Chases are recognised by all involved as vital development races but equally it has been evident for some time that many have become uncompetitive. Supporting the BHA’s changes to the programme, the Levy Board is contributing £90,000 in prize money to the three valuable end of season Levy-generating contests.”