Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire once again has the privilege of hosting the most valuable race of the summer jumping season.
The John Smith’s Summer Cup on Sunday 28 June is a highlight, not only of the horseracing season, but also The Midlands’ sporting calendar.
The Summer Cup is a listed Handicap Steeplechase and will be the main attraction of an action-packed day of horse racing featuring a card of seven races guaranteed to create yet another memorable day in what has already been a vintage year for the racecourse.
The horses will come under starter’s orders for the first race of the day at 2pm, with the last race of the day scheduled for 5.05pm.
And in the middle of all that, when the ‘Uttoxeter roar’ will no doubt be at its loudest, comes the most valuable race of the Summer Season, with a significant £60,000 prize fund that’s sure to attract not only the best horses in training at this time of the year, but also many top jockeys.
Run over the same distance as the Cheltenham Gold Cup – 3 miles and about 2 furlongs – this year’s Summer Cup is also guaranteed to be bigger and better than ever before, thanks to the decision to increase the maximum number of runners from 18 to 20. Better still for the race going crowds at Uttoxeter, the start of the race is at the entrance to the home straight – with runners racing towards the grandstand. The 20 fences, meanwhile, will be at full width to accommodate the larger field.
Recent history of the race shows just how highly regarded the event is in the world of horseracing. Pineau De Re, an impressive winner of the Aintree Grand National in 2014, for example, used the 2013 Summer Cup as part of his preparation when placed 6th in that race.
Uttoxeter Racecourse has been hitting the headlines throughout 2015, and has so far welcomed everyone from A.P.McCoy for the Midlands Grand National to Texas for the Live Music Raceday, and from Sara Cox for Ladies Night to Peppa Pig for one of the ever-popular Family Fun Racedays.
And while the emphasis on June 28th will be very much on the horseracing, Uttoxeter Racecourse will once again be pulling out all the stops to ensure it’s also a great day out for the whole family. Under 18s accompanied by adults will be admitted free of charge on the day, and young families heading for the Centre Course area will find a host of inflatables, slides, trampolines, pony rides and soft play areas.
“We have said all year that our aim for 2015 is to show-off our racecourse to a much wider audience,” says Uttoxeter Racecourse Executive Director, David MacDonald. “I’d say we’ve already achieved that, but now we’re planning to offer all-comers yet another terrific ‘Day At The Races’. As ever, runners and riders won’t be known until a few days before the event itself, but what we do know already is that it’ll be another colourful occasion, with a fabulous atmosphere and some very exciting races.”
Entrance to this year’s John Smith’s Summer Cup starts from £10, but a range of hospitality packages are also available. For further information and to book tickets online, visit www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk (Tel: 01889 562561). Tickets can also be purchased on the day at the entrance.
Further details can be found online, and via various social media channels, where the hashtag of choice is #SummerCup.