The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that the successful Veterans’ Chase Series, first trialled in 2015, will return in 2016.
The Series, worth £400,000 in total, was programmed to generate opportunities for 10–year-old-plus Chasers who may have found winning opportunities limited in other valuable races, and provide a competitive centrepiece race on several Sunday cards.
The 2015 Chase Series was well received, delivering competitive qualifiers and a thrilling Final. Average field sizes across the 11 races reached 9 runners, well above the average field size for Chase races which was around 7.25 in 2015. The average starting price of the favourite across the 11 races was just over 7/2.
Paul Johnson, Head of Racing for the BHA, said:
“We’re thrilled with the success of the Veterans’ Chase Series in 2015 and delighted to have the opportunity to repeat it in 2016.
“The data clearly illustrates the value of investing into the Series, but perhaps more important than this is the pleasure it has brought Racing fans to see some grand horses given their day in the sun once again. We’ve seen some memorable and heart-warming stories emerge as a result.”
The Series will once again be run over 10 qualifying races from February 2016, culminating in a final at Sandown on Tolworth Hurdle day, and again with eight of the races being programmed on a Sunday.
Each of the 10 qualifying races will have a minimum total prize fund of £30,000 with the final offering £100,000 in prize money. Any horse that takes part in one of the qualifying races will be eligible to enter the Final.
The Series will again be part funded by the remaining money from the Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) made by bookmakers in 2014 and distributed primarily in 2015. Of the £4.5m contribution around £650,000 remains to be distributed. £200,000 of this will be used to fund the Veterans’ Chase Series. Discussions are ongoing as to how the remaining £450,000 will be spent.
Notes to editors:
1. The races in the 2016 Veterans’ Chase Series are as follows:
|14/02/2016 Sunday||EXETER||LEG 1 (0-150)|
|24/02/2016 Wednesday||DONCASTER||LEG 2 (0-150)|
|05/03/2016 Saturday||NEWBURY||LEG 3 (0-150)|
|20/03/2016 Sunday||CARLISLE||LEG 4 (0-150)|
|03/04/2016 Sunday||ASCOT||LEG 5 (0-150)|
|09/10/2016 Sunday||CHEPSTOW||LEG 6 (0-150)|
|23/10/2016 Sunday||AINTREE||LEG 7 (0-150)|
|06/11/2016 Sunday||SANDOWN PARK||LEG 8 (0-150)|
|27/11/2016 Sunday||LEICESTER||LEG 9 (0-150)|
|04/12/2016 Sunday||KELSO||LEG 10 (0-150)|
|Jan-2017||SANDOWN PARK||FINAL (Open)|
2. The press release announcing the 2015 Veterans Chase Series can be found here.