Threat Of Low Sun Causes Change To Festival Trials Card
Online betting group Betbright have been announced as the new sponsor of the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase on Saturday 24th January’s Trials Day at Cheltenham and in an effort to ensure that the Gold Cup trial does not fall foul of the possibility of the race being disrupted by the threat of low sun the course has decided, after consultation with Channel 4 and sponsors, to swap the three mile one and a half furlong contest with the freebets.com Trophy Chase.
The highlight of the informative meeting will now take place at 1.50pm with the Grade 3 handicap chase now scheduled for 2.25pm, of which Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse explained: “Given the experience we had at the Open meeting on the Friday, when the sun was an issue at 2.25, the aim is to try to ‘ manage out ‘ as many events as we can from the risk of the sun being a problem.
“There are contractual arrangements in place with sponsors and Channel 4 coverage. I can’t make sure every race has it’s risk minimised. If I wanted to ensure there wasn’t a risk around the Grade 3 I’d have to run that race off Channel 4. We’ve gone for the Grade 2 – the feature race of the day – and tried to minimise the risk in that one. But I can’t achieve it all.”
The £100k main even will now be known as the BetBright Cup Chase, run in recent years as the Argento Chase and formerly the Piller Chase when won by subsequent Gold Cup hero Looks Like Trouble in 2000. The race has been won by some of National Hunt racing’s greatest chasers over the years including Master Oats, One Man and See More Business as well as Neptune Collonges in 2011 who went on to victory in the Grand National the following year.
The 2015 renewal is likely to attract several leading fancies for the ‘ big one ‘ in March including Hennessy winner Many Clouds, Smad Place and The Giant Bolster who won the race 12 month’s ago before going on to be beaten just three quarters of a length by Lord Windermere in the Gold Cup two months later.