New £100k chase is boost for Ayr

The Scotsman - - Classified - By IAIN FER­GU­SON

A brand new £100,000 race will be staged at the Co­ral Scot­tish Grand Na­tional Fes­ti­val at Ayr Race­course next April bring­ing prize-money on the day to more than £550,000.

Along­side the £215,000 Scot­tish Na­tional and the £105,000 QTS Scot­tish Cham­pion Hur­dle, the three-mile open novices’ hand­i­cap chase will fur­ther en­hance the meet­ing which is al­ready Scot­land’s rich­est.

The race will be a cham­pi­onship fi­nal for novice chasers who, to qual­ify, must have fin­ished in the first eight in at least one weight for age novices’ or be­gin­ners chase dur­ing the 2017-2018 sea­son and will be sup­ported by the BHA’S De­vel­op­ment Fund as part of the Fund’s 2018 ex­pen­di­ture.

Ayr Race­course Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor David Brown said: “This is ter­rific news and boosts fur­ther what al­ready is an out­stand­ing Fes­ti­val. To have three races all car­ry­ing six-fig­ure prize money un­der­lines the qual­ity of rac­ing and to have such a valu­able novice chase along­side the Scot­tish Grand Na­tional and QTS Scot­tish Cham­pion Hur­dle is sure to put us on the radar of even more train­ers than be­fore. We look for­ward to next April with real an­tic­i­pa­tion.”

Lead­ing north­ern jumps trainer Nicky Richard added: “Its ex­cel­lent news for rac­ing in gen­eral and par­tic­u­larly in the north that a race of this cal­i­bre is be­ing added to an al­ready qual­ity card. Hope­fully I’ll have a horse good enough to run in it.”

At New­cas­tle, this evening, there are good signs for Eco­nomic Cri­sis, who was beaten six lengths at Cat­t­er­ick on her lat­est start.

How­ever, she de­serves a bit more credit for that run than first ap­pears.

Alan Berry’s charge hardly helped her­self when she un­shipped her rider in the pre­lim­i­nar­ies and per­haps the ex­cite­ment of that mishap just told a bit as she got a bit left be­hind be­fore mak­ing up ground in the fin­ish.

Eco­nomic Cri­sis will be join­ing the 100 club in the 32Red. com Fil­lies’ Hand­i­cap and while her re­turn of 11 wins in 99 starts is hardly breath­tak­ing, she cer­tainly is ca­pa­ble of de­cent ef­forts on her day.

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