Racing Victoria Releases Jumps Racing Program for 2011 / Victoria / 19 Jan, 2011

Racing Victoria (RV) has released its jumps racing program for 2011 which will deliver increased prize money and enhanced racing opportunities for owners, trainers and jockeys.

The program has been developed following consultation with stakeholders and Thoroughbred Racing South Australia which has resulted in a better structured program.

Highlights of the Victorian jumps racing season, which commences on Monday, 4 April at Warrnambool and concludes on Monday, 19 September at Pakenham, are;

> Total prize money has been increased by over 16 percent to $2.64 million

> 70 races (44 hurdles, 26 steeplechases) have been programmed, up from 63 in 2010

> Prize money for the Grand National Hurdle and Grand National Steeplechase have been increased by 33 percent to $200,000 each

> The Grand Nationals, jumps racing's showpiece events, will be conducted two weeks apart at Betfair Park (Sandown) in August thus allowing horses to compete in both

> Prize money for the Brierly Steeplechase, a headline race during the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, has been increased from $60,000 to $100,000

> Nine tracks will host jumps races with the resumption of jumps racing at Bendigo after a three-year absence and Mornington after a one-year absence

> Warrnambool will host over a third of the races with 24 programmed at the track

> The number of races in metropolitan Melbourne at Betfair Park (Sandown) has risen from 13 to 15 with the introduction of three $50,000 midweek features

“The 2011 jumps racing program has been designed to provide enhanced opportunities for participants and owners, whilst consolidating on the progress the sport, particularly hurdle racing, made in 2010,” RV Acting Chief Executive, Paul Bittar, said.

“Prize money has been increased by over 16 percent and we are committed to providing a solid foundation for hurdle racing to prosper over the next three years and for steeplechase racing to secure its future with a successful season.

“The program provides a better flow of feature races with prize money increases and date changes for the Grand Nationals certain to add lustre to the sport's ‘grand finals', whilst allowing horses the opportunity to progress from the Hurdle to Steeplechase.

“In developing the program RVL have worked closely with Thoroughbred Racing South Australia to ensure that our race programs complemented one another. As a result, no jumps races will be held on the same day in both states, thus allowing for increased cross-state participation by jockeys and trainers.

“We are pleased to welcome Bendigo and Mornington back as jumps racing venues, whilst consolidating Warrnambool and Betfair Park as the premier jumps racing venues in the state.

“The new look racing program will be supported by an enhanced trialling and schooling schedule that will commence at the start of February and provide increased opportunities for trainers to educate and prepare their jumpers for competition.”

Click Here to view the 2011 Victorian Jumps Racing Program