In its second year since its inception, the Challenger Series aims to support middle-tier jump racing during the core National Hunt season between October and April.
The Challenger Series was launched for the 2015/16 season as an expansion of the Grassroots Jumps Series which was previously run exclusively by Jockey Club Racecourses.
Hosted at 35 racecourses across the country, the Challenger Series compromises of six separate Series that allow horses rated up to 135 (130 for mares) to qualify for a Finals Day at Haydock Park Racecourse on Easter Saturday. The 2017 Finals Day on April 15 will carry prize money of more than £300,000.
The six Series for 2016/17 and corresponding £50,000 finals are:
- 2m Handicap Hurdle Series
- 3m Stayers Handicap Hurdle Series
- 2m 3f Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Series
- 3m Staying Handicap Chase Series
- 2m 3f Middle Distance Handicap Chase Series
- 3m Mares’ Handicap Chase Series
There are 15 Qualifiers for each Series, with the exception of the 3m Mares’ Handicap Chase Series which will have 10. They will be a combination of Class 3 and Class 4 handicaps, with the first race being programmed for the 19 October at Worcester. Horses qualify for the Series Final by finishing in the first eight places in a Series Qualifier apart from the Mares’ Handicap Chase Series where all runners will qualify automatically.