Stratford prepares for new jump season


The Ladies Championship Final proved a real thriller last year as three riders were tied for the lead coming into the meeting. The race was won by What A Laugh, ridden by 2013 champion rider Jane Williams, but, it was the 2014 champion Hannah Lewis who won the title again, as the eight points gained from finishing third on Bound For Glory took her to 58, ahead of Byrony Frost on 52.

AGA is also sponsoring the Grand Prix Leading Rider Championship, which is being contested over a series of 20 nationwide Grand Prix fixtures for male and female jockeys.

The final leg will be held at Mollington on 2nd May and the series winner will be presented with their prize of an AGA City60 cooker during the evening.

The Subaru Series Final, which is for horses that have not won under the rules of any recognised Racing Authority other than a Maiden or Hunt Members’ race, is being run across 50 national qualifiers and boasts a prize fund of £10,000.

The first heat, which took place at Cottenham near Cambridge back in November, was won by Tulsa, ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas, who bought up his 50th career success earlier this month.

Last year, Flash Garden looked the likely winner turning into the straight, but Claire Hart had been making steady progress aboard Dabinett Moon, the only mare in the race and, after joining the leader at the last fence, found an extra gear on the short run-in to win by two lengths.

The opening day card features two qualifiers for the Challenger Series, which culminates in a finals day at Haydock Park on Easter Saturday televised by Channel 4.

Introduced as an expansion of the successful and popular Grassroots Jump Series, which was launched in 2011, the Challenger Series is staged across all of the British jumps courses which are racing between November and March.

Annual membership is available for £170 (£100 for seniors and students) giving access to all 18 racedays at Stratford and over 40 reciprocal days at over 40 different racecourses, plus every jumps fixture held at Leicester. Annual members also enjoy complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits in their own private area.

Saturday 5th March, Monday 14th March, Saturday 26th March, Sunday 17th April, Sunday 15th May, Friday 20th May, Saturday 21st May, Tuesday 14th June, Tuesday 28th June, Sunday 10th July (Family Day), Sunday 17th July (Ladies’ Day), Thursday 28th July, Thursday 11th August, Thursday 18th August, Wednesday 24th August, Saturday 3rd September, Saturday 15th October, Thursday 27th October (Halloween Day)