WINDSOR Racecourse has announced a 'shock' decision over its future – with jumps racing to return in 2024.
There has been no National Hunt action at the Berkshire track since 1998 – barring a few fixtures carried over from Ascot during its redevelopment in 2004 and 2005.
But there will be jumps racing again in December next year, after Arena Racing Company confirmed the plans.
To accommodate the racing the usual figure of eight track will be scrapped for a continuous left-handed circuit.
Managing Director of ARC’s Racing Division, Mark Spincer, said: "We have long held a desire to bring jump racing back to Royal Windsor Racecourse, and we are really pleased to confirm this plan well ahead of the planned first fixture in December 2024.
"Whilst the racecourse hasn’t hosted regularly scheduled jumps fixtures since 1998, we believe that the plans that we have put together with BHA will mean that the small number of fixtures that we would like to host will sit well alongside the long established, popular summer flat programme.
"A significant amount of work has gone into considering the optimal layout for jump racing at Royal Windsor, which will see the course configured differently to how it was previously.
"But we believe that it is an excellent proposal to offer jump racing fans the chance to come back to Royal Windsor, whilst not impacting on the flat programme, which is an important consideration."
Clerk of the course Charlie Rees told Sky Sports Racing the decision was a 'shock' to some who worked at the track – but a welcome one.
He added: "It would be lovely to have some really good racing here.
Most read in Horse Racing
Day one will be lit up by Willie Mullins' next superstar hurdler
This 15-2 chance won by 11 lengths when last seen and can return with a bang
My NAP looks sure for improvement on second run in a handicap
This 12-1 outsider is being criminally overlooked for shrewd trainer
"We want to put on racing with big field sizes and we're not far from Lambourn so hopefully trainers will want to come down again."
Spincer added: "The proximity to the River Thames gives the track excellent drainage, and our records show that the racecourse very rarely ran jumps fixtures on heavy ground, with the majority of abandonments coming due to frost.
"Happily, turf management techniques have developed significantly since that time, so we are confident of providing excellent jumping ground for the fixtures that we would like to host in 2024 and 2025 and beyond."
FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chases their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
Source: Read Full Article