First all-mares jumps card to be held at Cheltenham's April meeting
Cheltenham will break new ground on the second day of its April meeting as it is set to stage a seven-race programme exclusively for fillies and mares, with £190,000 in prize-money on offer.
The card – on Thursday, April 19 – will feature three Listed races, while there is also a valuable £40,000 juvenile handicap hurdle.
Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "I am delighted that Cheltenham is to be the first jumps racecourse to stage an all-mares racecard.
"The running order on the second day of the April meeting previously had four all-mares races and we very much hope that the seven races will be well supported.
"With two mares-only races at the festival and this card following four weeks later, the mares' programme is developing and, hopefully, owners will be encouraged to run mares at the home of jump racing, especially late in the season.
"My thanks go to British Horseracing Authority for their help in bringing this concept together – we are very much looking forward to hosting the mares' card in April."
Bolstering the mares' programme
BHA racing operations manager Stuart Middleton said: "We have been working for some time towards jump racing's first all-mares card.
"Cheltenham has long since held the same ambition and, having between us expanded the card to include four mares' races already, it is the obvious venue to give this exciting venture a try.
"This initiative forms yet another part of our ongoing commitment to bolstering the overall mares' programme and providing an incentive to own and train jump mares.
"We hope that the fixture will garner positive publicity and the promise of being part of a unique event at such an iconic venue will, we hope, be yet another reason to be excited about ownership of mares at all tiers of the sport."
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