2011 Cheltenham Festival to Have 27 Races

Cheltenham Racecourse Managing Director Edward Gillespie has revealed that the 2011 Cheltenham Festival will feature an additional race which will be a 2 mile 4 fourlong novice chase . The extra chase has been approved by the Cheltenham board subject to attracting a sponsor and the neccesary funding . Gillespie stated that “ the new race must have an appropriate value , say £75 000 to £85 000 without diminishing the value of other races ”.

Currently the four day Cheltenham Festival features seven races on the Wednesday and Friday and Gillespie confirmed that the new race will be ran on either the Tuesday or Thursday with no decision having being as yet . Final confirmation of the new race is expected by September along with the race sponsor .

In other Cheltenham news Gillespie confirmed that the racecourse is looking to package sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle with the Bula Hurdle which is a traditional Champion Hurdle trial at the December meeting . The Champion Hurdle would cost a potential sponsor around £250 000 and the racecourse will be hoping to attract a new long term sponsor by offering the Bula Hurdle in the package .

The current favourite for the 2011 Champion Hurdle is last year’s winner Binocular who is available with most bookmakers at 3/1 .

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