WITH the summer season well and truly under way, the winner of one the highlights of the racecourse calendar will be heading home with a bigger than usual prize.
Uttoxeter Racecourse has revealed the feature race of its summer season, The John Smith’s Summer Cup - a Listed Class 1 Handicap Steeplechase - will see the prize pot increased by 50 per cent for the champion.
The event will be held at the Wood Lane course on Sunday, June 29 and organisers said it should attract a higher quality of horse than ever due to the ‘significant increase in the prize money making it the most valuable jumps race of the summer period’.
The total prize fund for this feature race has risen by 50 per cent from £40,000 to £60,000, with the winning horse taking home £34,170.
The remaining £25,830 is will then be allocated down to sixth place.
It is not just the feature race prize money that has increased as the overall total prize fund for the fixture is up by 31 per cent making it the most valuable summer Sunday jumps card.
A spokesman told the Post and Times: “It is no surprise that the increase in prize fund has resulted in the race featuring more prominently in trainers’ diaries.”
The spokesman added George Barlow, a former Uttoxeter Racecourse steward, is the owner of Bear’ Affair who is rumoured to be targeting the steeplechase.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, the eight-year-old gelding is currently rated at 142 following his win at Aintree while under the champion jockey A P McCoy last month.
Uttoxeter regular, Jonjo O’Neill also boasts an impressive Summer Cup record including his win last year with outsider Storm Survivor and the racecourse believes there will no doubt be lining up another competitive team.
Entries for the Summer Cup will be confirmed by the racecourse on Monday, June 23.
The event will include seven jump races on the day which includes the course’s feature race the John Smith’s Summer Cup, A Listed Handicap Steeple Chase, and the Maiden Steeplechase for race-goers to enjoy.
More information is available by following the racecourse on Twitter @UttoxeterRaces or search �Uttoxeter Racecourse on Facebook which will be kept up to date on the latest Summer Cup information.
Gates will open at noon on the Sunday with the first race leaving the starting post at 2.20pm.
The last race of the day will start at 5.25pm.
Tickets for the event and information on the various packages on offer are available at www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/fixture/john-smiths-summer-cup/ or by calling the racecourse on 01889 562561.