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Magnificent seven jump racing days at Aintree and Haydock Park Racecourses
2:36pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
THE top two racecourses in North West England are serving up a feast of jump racing over seven days between October and Christmas time.
Some of the most talented steeple chasers and hurdlers will be on their way to Aintree and Haydock Park ... targeting almost £1.3 million in prize-money.
It’s a road which will ultimately lead all the way back to Liverpool in April 2014 for the first ever £1 million Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.
John Baker, Regional Director North West of The Jockey Club, said: “Aintree and Haydock Park Racecourses host some of the greatest jumps racing in the world. We are, of course, already looking forward to The Crabbie’s Grand National Festival from Thursday 3 to Saturday 5 April, but before the start of 2014 we have seven fantastic days of jump racing.
"The highlights are the £200,000 Betfair Chase, with Cheltenham Gold Cup contenders taking each other on at Haydock Park on Saturday 23 November, and Becher Chase Day at Aintree a fortnight later on Saturday 7 December.”
First under starter’s orders is Aintree for the two-day meeting on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October.
Saturday features one of the first big steeple chases of the autumn – the Grade 2 Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase.
Sunday is a Halloween-themed Family Day by the end of which £250,000 in prize-money will have been decided over the two days.
That prize fund is more than doubled when the action starts over two days at Haydock Park on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November – the Betfair Chase Festival.
The three-mile Grade 1 feature race is one of the most sought-after prizes in British horse racing. Since the inaugural race in 2005, the stars of the winter racing code have come to Haydock Park to contest it.
They include the most famous steeple chaser of the 21st Century, Kauto Star, whose statue now stands in the grounds of the racecourse, as well as former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander and Silviniaco Conti, the horse poised to return this year to defend his crown after being victorious 11 months ago.
Betfair Chase Day is the richest jump racing fixture of the year at Haydock Park and features a number of other valuable contests, including a Grade 3 race over the racecourse’s ‘fixed brush’ hurdles.
On Saturday 7 December, it’s back to Aintree Racecourse for Betfred Becher Chase Day when the horses race over the famous Grand National fences for the first time in the 2013/14 jump racing season.
The £150,000 three and a quarter mile race is often a major pointer to The Crabbie’s Grand National. The contest is 21 years old this year, but it came of age a long time ago – and can count on its role of honour Grand National heroes like Earth Summit, Amberleigh House and Silver Birch.
The Saturday before Christmas – 21 December - is Tommy Whittle Chase day at Haydock Park, while the racecourse brings down the curtain on racing in the North West in 2013 nine days later with ‘The Last Fling’ Day. The latter is a popular day out for families over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Tickets to the seven jump racing days during the rest of 2013 at Aintree and Haydock Park are available online at either www.aintree.co.uk or www.haydock-park.co.uk.
The telephone hotlines for the two racecourses are 0844 579 3001 and 0844 579 3006 respectively. Advance purchases come at a discount. Accompanied children aged 17 years or younger are admitted free of charge at the seven fixtures.
Haydock Park adult tickets for each day of the Betfair Chase Festival, Tommy Whittle Chase Day and ‘The Last Fling’ Day start at £11.70 in advance.
Aintree adult tickets for Old Roan Chase Day, Family Day and Becher Chase Day are £18 in advance.
Tickets can also be booked now for Crabbie’s Grand National day on Saturday 5 April 2014. They start at just £21 for the Steeplechase Enclosure.
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