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2021 Victoria Jumps Racing Program released

Racing Victoria (RV) in consultation with the Australian Jumps Racing Association and Thoroughbred Racing SA on Wednesday confirmed the 19-raceday program scheduled for the 2021 Victorian jumps racing season, which will commence in Warrnambool on 8 March.

The 2021 season will see over $3.9 million in prizemoney on offer for jumps participants. This includes one of the highlights of the Victorian jumps racing season, the TAB Warrnambool May Racing Carnival which will boast a minimum $785,000 in jumps prizemoney across the three-day event from 4-6 May.

Along with the minimum $3.9 million in prizemoney, the $10,000 bonus scheme for jumps racing horses who register their first jumps career win will continue in 2021.

The 2021 schedule will feature two all-jumps meetings, at Pakenham on 18 July, the Mosstrooper Jumps Raceday for the first time, and the concluding event on the Victorian jumps racing calendar, Grand National Steeplechase Day, at Sportsbet-Ballarat on 29 August.

The Grand National meeting has also been moved a week later in the calendar to ensure a two week break from the penultimate meeting of the season.
Another change in 2021 will be the permanent introduction of ‘One Fit Hurdles’, after a successful trial during the 2020 season. The light weight hurdles, which are a custom fitting closed-cell foam pad will first be used at Cranbourne, Coleraine, Casterton and Warrnambool.

The benefits of the ‘One Fit Hurdle’ are two-fold, providing a safer jump for horse and rider and also a more user friendly option for track staff to set up and remove from the track.

Throughout the autumn and winter months jumps racing will once again be a feature on Sunday’s at Coleraine and Casterton, with four meetings scheduled between May and August, including back-to-back Sunday meetings on 8 and 15 August.

The Grand National Hurdle at Ladbrokes Park Sandown on 1 August will be a must watch race, after last year’s edition was headlined by the heroics of the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stayer, Ablaze, who claimed the time honoured race in addition to his Grand Annual victory in Warrnambool.

Covering the breadth of the state, the jumps racing calendar will also feature race meetings at Terang, Hamilton and Sale throughout the 2021 season.

In addition to racedays, trialling will commence at Cranbourne on 19 February, as well as at Warrnambool on 26 February, before the first jumps meeting of the season on 8 March.

RV General Manager, International and Racing Operations, Paul Bloodworth said it was pleasing to once again have a strong prize purse on offer for jumps participants.

“Along with the minimum $3.9 million in prizemoney, we are also excited to continue the $10,000 bonus scheme for jumps racing horses who register their first jumps career win.

“This significant investment is testimony to the health of jumps racing in Victoria, and the participants and communities that support the sport.

“Safety improvements are also an important focus each jumps racing season, and it’s great that following the successful trial of the ‘One Fit Hurdles’, we can start to introduce the light weight hurdles at jumps race meetings in 2021 to further improve conditions for rider and horse.

“It’s also pleasing that jumps fans will have the potential to return to racetracks around Victoria after the 2020 season was effectively raced behind closed doors due to the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Bloodworth.

The 2021 season will offer a total of 64 jumps races – 41 hurdles and 23 steeplechases – programmed across the six month schedule.

Link - the full 2021 Victorian jumps racing program.

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