Start of the Jumps Season
Musselburgh stages the first of its 10 fixture £640,000 National Hunt season next Wednesday (8 Nov) with a six-card meeting featuring prize money of £43,000.
The season’s total prize pot is similar to last year at the East Lothian track with one less jumps fixture being held in 2017-18.
High profile meetings include the festive favourite on New Year’s Day and the annual bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials Weekend on 3 and 4 February which attracts the leading trainers looking for challenging prep races leading up to the Cheltenham Festival and the Aintree Grand National.
Racecourse chief executive Bill Farnsworth is hoping the increasingly popular 1 January meeting will improve on last year’s record attendance of 6400 and with more than £110,000 on offer, including the £30,000 Totepool Hogmaneigh Hurdle feature race, there is plenty to appeal to the top stables and racing fans alike.
For sporting fans who like all types of racing action, Musselburgh also plays host that day to the finals of the traditional New Year Sprint, now in its 149th year and the world’s oldest athletics handicap race.
Musselburgh’s much anticipated bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials Weekend at the start of February will have almost £250,00 prize money on offer and on the first day (Sat 3 Feb) centre stage is the £40,000 bet365 Edinburgh National, a stayer’s contest over four miles, supported by the bet365 Scottish Champion Steeple Chase over half that distance. Four key Cheltenham hurdle trials form the core of the second day (Sunday 4 Feb) led by the Class 1 Listed bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial and the bet365 Scottish County Hurdle.
Bill Farnsworth said: “We believe we have produced another excellent jumps programme with a mixture of high-value glamour meetings and competitive race days which will appeal to our National Hunt fans over the winter months.
“The large crowd and atmosphere at our first-foot meeting on New Years’ Day makes this one of the best sporting events in Scotland over the festive period. Its popularity continues to grow and my advice would be to book tickets well in advance so that you are not disappointed if the fixture sells out.
“The bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials boasts a full programme of high-quality prep races for the Festival proper and it’s no exaggeration to say that each February Musselburgh is firmly on the map for the country’s leading owners and trainers.”
Gates open on Wednesday 8 November at 11am and the first race is at 12.45pm. To book in advance and for more information on Musselburgh’s jump season fixture list, visit www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk