Racenews - uk horseracingRacenews Newslink Archive click here for...


Saturday, October 12, 2003


Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange operator, is to sponsor the new Betfair Jockeys’ Challenge at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, November 22 - the first day of the two-day Becher meeting at Aintree.

The Betfair Jockeys’ Challenge will be staged over the first four races on the card, all of which will be featured on BBC Grandstand as part of their racing transmission, with additional coverage from Ascot.

Prize money for the six-race card will be £100,000 and the final race of the challenge - the Betfair.com Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over two miles and five and a half furlongs - will be run over the world-famous Grand National fences.

The Grand Sefton was originally run at Aintree in 1866 and was over the distance of two miles seven and a half furlongs. The race was last run in the early 1970s.

Jockeys from Great Britain will compete for points against a team from Ireland, with the winning team being presented with a perpetual trophy.

The teams will be led by Martell Cognac Grand National winning jockeys Carl Llewellyn (Great Britain) and Tony Dobbin (Ireland) – the Team Captains. They, in conjunction with the trainers, will select the mounts for their respective teams. Great Britain will wear red, and Ireland will wear green, breeches and caps.

Points will be awarded for the first five placed horses in each of the four challenge races on the basis of 10, 7, 5, 3 and 1. In addition to the perpetual trophy and souvenir mementoes for all contestants, Betfair will present £3,000 to the trainer with the most points plus £2,000 for the yard’s stable staff.

Aintree Racecourse will pay a travel allowance of £100 for all unplaced horses plus provide additional travel packages for Irish trainers.

Mark Davies, Director of Communications of Betfair, said today: “This event, with the benefit of BBC coverage, is a perfect way to follow up our successful Betfair Jockeys’ Challenge in Limerick in July. To have the final race over the historic Aintree fences will be a fantastic way to end the competition.”

Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course at Aintree Racecourse, commented today: “We would like to thank Betfair for the enormous contribution to help stage the event, and we have already received the backing of owners, trainers and jockeys, both in Great Britain and Ireland.

“To make this exciting new event a success, we are looking for support from trainers and we will be in consultation with them to finalise the arrangements.

“Aintree’s two-day November meeting will offer a significant boost to jump racing with £230,000 in added money and, in these days of prize money cut-backs, we must hope to receive full support from owners and trainers.

“The second day of the meeting on Sunday, November 23, will feature the Tote Becher Chase, with a prize fund of £75,000. The two days promise to offer connections and racegoers a real feast of high-class jump racing, including two races over the Grand National fences.”

Race Programme, Saturday, November 22, 2003

Time Name Distance Value

12:50 The Betfair.com Novices’ Hurdle Race 2m 4f £10,000

13:25 The Betfair.com Novices’ Steeple Chase 2m £12,000

13:55 The Betfair.com Handicap Hurdle Race 3m £20,000

14:30 The Betfair.com Grand Sefton Handicap Steeple Chase (Over the Grand National fences) 2m 5.5f £40,000

15:05 The Betfair.com Handicap Steeple Chase 2m £8,000

15:40 The Betfair.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race 2m1f £10,000

Total £100,000

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

©Racenews 2002
designed and produced by Racenews Internet Services