In a bid to ensure that older horses have the opportunity to compete for enhanced prize money, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has launched a new series of veterans’ chases which will take place during the 2019-20 Jump season.
The new series will be tailored towards horses at a lower level, primarily those with a rating of up to 125, differentiating itself from the existing series which operates at Class 2 level for horses rated up to 150.
Stuart Middleton, Racing Operations Manager at the BHA, said: “Following the success of the original Class 2 veterans’ chase series, we are excited to introduce this new series aimed at the veteran chasers rated just below that level. The £50,000 Final at Newbury in March should prove a genuinely significant target for these stalwarts of the winter games and we very much appreciate Newbury’s considerable support towards the series.
“We are also delighted to be able to offer a significant prize for the many talented upcoming riders amongst the conditional jockeys’ ranks. Teaming these riders up with seasoned campaigners offers an appealing combination, whilst providing an easily identifiable difference between this and the existing Class 2 series.”
The series is hoped to deliver both more frequent and higher profile development opportunities for jockeys to partner with experienced horses.
The new initiative will be rolled out via 12 qualifiers throughout the season, which will range from 2m4f to 3m, with ratings varying between 0-120 and 0-125.
It comes as part of a series of new proposals rolled out by the BHA throughout the upcoming 2019-20 Jump season, which has included the Racing Post ‘Go North Weekend’ announced earlier this year.
As part of the Go North Weekend, there will be a juvenile hurdle and two-mile chase category, to take place at Musselburgh on 20 March Carlisle on 22 March respectively, which will complement the three-day series of fixtures which also includes Kelso on 21 March.