Jewson among four races boosted to Grade 1 status
FOUR jumps races were upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status on Tuesday, including the Jewson Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Mildmay Novices' Steeple Chase and the Mersey Novices' Hurdle, both at Aintree's Grand National meeting, and the bet365.com Celebration Chase at Sandown in April were the other upgraded races.
A further four races were upgraded to Grade 3 status and five were boosted to Listed status, including first black type jumps races for Carlisle and Musselburgh.
The submissions for upgrade were discussed by the BHA's jump racing committee at a meeting on July 3.
Ruth Quinn, director of racing at the BHA, said: "The jump racing committee recently considered a number of applications for upgrade and we’re really pleased to be able to support four races being promoted to Grade 1."
The upgrades bring the total of Grade 1 races at the Cheltenham Festival to 13, while the Grand National meeting can boast of 10.
Simon Claisse, clerk of the course at Cheltenham and the Jockey Club's regional head of racing for the South West, said the Jewson upgrade reflected "the depth of strength in the race".
Aintree also had two races upgraded from Listed to Grade 3 status: a 2m4f handicap hurdle at the National meeting in April and the early-season Grand National trial the Betfred Becher Steeple Chase.
The other races upgraded to Grade 3 status were the Paddy Power Imperial Cup at Sandown in March and the Ladbroke at Ascot in December, both 2m handicap hurdle races.
The John Oaksey National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival was granted Listed status along with the Shloer Chase (Cheltenham, November), the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase (Carlisle, October), the William Hill Hurdle (Kempton, October) and the John Smith's Scottish Triumph Hurdle (Musselburgh, February).