Package of changes agreed to help strengthen performance of British Jump racing

26 Apr 2023 BHA Features Racing/Fixtures

The British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Jump Pattern Committee has today confirmed a package of changes to the 2023/24 Pattern and Listed Jump programme to help strengthen the upper tier of British Jump racing.

These changes have been agreed as part of an in-depth review, in line with the aims and recommendations of the Quality Jump Racing Review Group.

They will see the Jump Pattern and Listed programme reshaped and refined for the 2023/24 season, with races repositioned within the racing calendar and, in some cases, removed entirely where other similar opportunities exist.

This aims to ensure our Graded and Pattern contests are spaced most appropriately throughout the calendar and can incentivise increased competition between our best horses at more regular points throughout the season.

Prominent adjustments in the hurdle division include the relocation of the Grade 1 Tolworth from Sandown Park to Aintree’s new Boxing Day fixture, with the Grade 2 International at Cheltenham to take place on Festival Trials Day at the end of January, rather than early December.

Notable alterations to the chase programme include the Grade 2 Desert Orchid at Kempton Park on 27 December becoming a Grade 2 Limited Handicap, with the aim of making the race more competitive and creating more optimum spacing within the weight-for-age two-mile chase programme.

The Jump Pattern and Listed race programme can be viewed in full here, with changes coming into effect for the 2023/24 season highlighted.

The work to reshape the programme ahead of next season, through both tactical interventions and ensuring a more suitable spread of opportunities, is considered the first step towards bolstering British Jump racing and ensuring we remain competitive.

The next stage will focus on long-term investment in the top end of the sport, with work already well underway as part of British racing’s industry strategy to ensure that prize money levels support the retention of higher rated horses in Britain.

BHA Director of International Racing and Racing Development, Ruth Quinn, said:

“The Jump Pattern programme in Britain has undergone an in-depth review, focusing on how we best support and improve the performance of Jump racing at the top end of the pyramid, both in the short and longer-term.

“The Jump Pattern Committee has worked closely with racecourses, especially the Jockey Club – which stages most of our Jump Pattern races – to identify ways to see our best horses more regularly running against each other, but also strengthen our important developmental races, which help propel our horses towards the height of their ability.

“Working to these guiding principles, we have developed a package of changes, with races repositioned within a slimmed-down 2023/24 programme. The aim is to ensure our top contests are spaced more appropriately and consistently throughout the season – and hopefully deliver more competitive, meaningful and engaging racing as a consequence.

“Increased funding, investment and prize money remains an important aim in terms of how we continually strengthen our higher profile contests, but these structural changes to the programme are a significant step in ensuring that our horses can maximise their prospects of succeeding at the highest level, as well producing a race programme that is consistently more engaging to bettors, fans and the media.”

The Jockey Club’s Group Racing Director, Richard Norris, commented:

“With the majority of Britain’s Jump Pattern races being run at our venues, we have welcomed the opportunity to play a leading role in this in-depth review.

“We hope that the changes will be met with approval from all stakeholders and will play a large part in making the upper tiers of British Jump racing stronger and more competitive throughout the season.

“Despite the majority of the changes affecting races at our tracks we are happy to support a ‘less is more’ approach, and hope this slimmed-down programme, with some races repositioned, will prove beneficial for all concerned.”

Paul Nicholls, who will be crowned 14-time Champion Jump Trainer this week, added:

“The changes to the timings and venues of certain races are all sensible and will help trainers better campaign their good horses. Increased competition and more prize money at the top end can only be a good thing for the sport.”



Full changes to 2023/24 Programme

The full Jump Pattern and Listed programme for 2023/24 season is available here.

The list of changes is published below, with categories split into Novice Hurdles, Open Hurdles, Novice Chases and Open Chases.

Novice Hurdles


  • Listed Summit Hurdle to be run at Aintree one week earlier (replacing the juvenile fillies’ race) creating better spacing between the Grade 2 Prestbury (Cheltenham) and Grade 2 Finale (Chepstow)
  • New Listed fillies’ juvenile hurdle at Newbury introduced at the beginning of December, replacing the race previously taking place at Aintree
  • Scottish Triumph Hurdle (Musselburgh) to retain Listed status, but with amended race conditions. Pattern-class horses have option of Grade 2 Finesse (Cheltenham) a week prior.

2 miles

  • Grade 2 Sharp (Cheltenham) moved to October from November
  • Listed hurdle (Kempton Park) removed from programme
  • Newton (Haydock Park) upgraded to Grade 2 from Listed status
  • New Listed race added to Sandown Park’s Tingle Creek meeting
  • Grade 1 Tolworth moved to Aintree’s new Boxing Day fixture and open to horses 3yo+
  • Grade 2 Kennel Gate (Ascot) removed from programme

2½ miles

  • Listed race at Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day meeting removed from programme (from 2022/23)
  • Grade 2 Leamington (Warwick) removed from programme, providing better spacing between the Grade 1 Challow (Newbury) and the Grade 2 Classic (Cheltenham)

Open Hurdles

2 miles

  • Grade 2 International (Cheltenham) to be run during Festival Trials Day at the end of January
  • Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial (Haydock Park) and Listed Contenders (Sandown Park) removed from programme (latter race removed for 2022/23)
  • Long-term ambition for the introduction of new Grade 1 Hurdle over 2 miles at the end of the season, providing a further Grade 1 opportunity after the Cheltenham Festival, in line with other divisions.

Novice Steeple Chases

2 miles

  • Grade 2 Lightning to be moved to Lingfield Park and run one-week earlier in January to create a three-week gap with the Grade 2 Kingmaker (Warwick)

2½ miles

  • Grade 2 Towton (Wetherby) moved to mid-January and run over reduced distance of two and a half miles (previously 3 miles)
  • Grade 2 Dipper (Cheltenham), Grade 2 Future Champion (Ayr) and Grade 2 Altcar (Haydock Park) removed from the race programme.

3 miles

  • Introduction of a Listed Chase over 3 miles to be run at Cheltenham’s November meeting
  • Introduction of a new Grade 2 race at Sandown Park at the Tingle Creek meeting in early December
  • Removal of the Grade 2 John Francome (Newbury) and the Grade 2 December (Doncaster)

Open Steeple Chases

2 miles

  • Grade 2 Desert Orchid (Kempton Park, late December) to become a Grade 2 Limited Handicap, creating a space in the weight-for-age programme between the Grade 1 Tingle Creek (Sandown Park) and Grade 1 Clarence House (Ascot)

2½ miles

  • Aspiration to move Grade 2 Peterborough Chase (Huntingdon) one week later from 2024/25 to create bigger gap between the Grade 2 1965 Chase (Ascot) and the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti (Kempton Park).

3 miles

  • Removal of Listed Future Stars Intermediate (Sandown Park) and Grade 2 Many Clouds (Aintree)
  • Grade 2 Peter Marsh Limited Handicap (Haydock Park) to become full weight-range Premier Handicap.

The Jump Pattern Committee

The Jump Pattern Committee advises and makes recommendations to the BHA Board on matters relating to maintaining and improving the programme of Jump Pattern and Listed races.

The membership of the Jump Pattern Committee is as follows:

Hopper Cavendish (C)
Richard Aston
Simon Clare
David Cleary
Sam Hoskins
Emma Lavelle
Lee Mottershead
Amy Murphy
Paul Nicholls
Richard Norris
Ruth Quinn
Vanessa Ryle

For more information, see the Committees page.