Mares and fillies will be given their chance to shine at Cheltenham’s first raceday devoted to female horses.

Taking place on day two of the April meeting (19 April) the mares’ raceday offers a seven-race programme, with £190,000 in prize money.

It will be the first time a National Hunt racecourse will stage an all-mares’ race card.

“With two mares-only races at the Festival and this card following four weeks later the mares’ programme is developing and, hopefully, owners be encouraged to run mares at the home of jump racing, especially late in the season,” said Simon Claisse, the Jockey Club’s southwest regional head of racing, and Cheltenham’s clerk of the course.

“My thanks go to British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for their help in bringing this concept together — we are very much looking forward to hosting the mares’ card in April.”

The richest races are the £40,000 mares’ novices’ handicap chase finale and the £40,000 four-year-old fillies’ juvenile handicap hurdle.

“We have been working for some time towards jump racing’s first all-mares’ card,” added BHA racing operations manager Stuart Middleton.

“Cheltenham has long since held the same ambition and, having between us, expanded their card to include four mares’ races already, it is the obvious venue to give this exciting venture a try.

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“This initiative forms yet another part of our ongoing commitment to bolstering the overall mares’ programme and providing an incentive to own and train jump mares.

“We hope that the fixture will garner positive publicity and the promise of being part of a unique event at such an iconic venue will, we hope, be yet another reason to be excited about ownership of mares at all tiers of the sport.”

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