More prize money at Cheltenham
Last Updated: 01/10/13 3:17pm
Sprinter Sacre could run at the Open Meeting
The Open Meeting at Cheltenham will see a six per cent increase in prize money over the three days, with a record £743,000 on offer.
The Open takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 15 to 17.
The Shloer Chase, run over two miles on the Sunday, will be worth £70,000 and has been promoted to Listed status; Wishfull Thinking won the 2012 renewal and Nicky Henderson's magnificent Sprinter Sacre could line up this year.
There is a new Listed Fillies' Bumper on the card as well, taking place as the last race on the Saturday, worth £20,000.
The Open sees Paddy Power renew its long association with the Home of Jump Racing which started in 2003.
In a three-year deal, the Irish bookmaker will be the title sponsor of the second day, The Paddy Power Open Saturday. In addition, it will continue to sponsor a race on the Friday, the paddypower.com Handicap Chase, and as well as the feature race on the Saturday, the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup, worth £160,000 and run over an extended two and a half miles.
Both races last year were won by Paul Nicholls, with Shooters Wood successful in the Friday event and Al Ferof taking the Paddy Power Gold Cup and thus providing the trainer with his first victory in the main contest at The Open.
In addition, Murphy Group will sponsor the Grade Three handicap chase run over an extended three mile and three furlongs on the Saturday, worth £50,000, which was won last year by subsequent Welsh National scorer Monbeg Dude. Murphy Group previously sponsored a handicap chase on Festival Trials Day.
Paddy Power, spokesman for Paddy Power, commented: "The Open, featuring the Paddy Power Gold Cup, is not just the first Jump festival of the season, but also a brilliant one that gets better every year."
John Stack, chief executive officer of Murphy Group, commented: "I am very pleased that J. Murphy & Sons Limited are continuing the partnership with Cheltenham Racecourse and even more pleased that we have upgraded the race we sponsor to the Saturday of The Open Meeting. We are very much looking forward to the day."
Sophia Brudenell, communications manager for Cheltenham Racecourse, added: "The Open is very much positioned as the premier race meeting pre-Christmas, with around 70,000 racegoers enjoying three unique days of top-class racing.
"It is great news that both Paddy Power and Murphy Group have renewed their sponsorship at Cheltenham."