Sandown Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle key pointer for Cheltenham Festival hopes

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Racing towards the winning line at the Cheltenham Festival. Pic: Racingfotos.com (Courtesy of Great British Racing).

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SANDOWN’S 32Red Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle has attracted a strong field of potential Cheltenham Festival contenders for the Grade 1 contest on Saturday.

The race, which carries total prize money of £45,000, will be shown live at 2.25pm on new racing channel ITV4 – who will be televising their first Saturday afternoon card since taking over racing coverage from Channel 4 last Sunday.

The one mile, seven furlongs and 216 yard Sandown feature was won last year by Yorkhill, subsequent winner of a novices’ race at the Cheltenham Festival where prize money for 2017 has been boosted by £190,000.

Total prize money for the four-day Cheltenham Festival on March 14 to 17 has increased to £4,305,000 – a rise of £190,000 which benefits 23 of the 28 races at The Festival.

The biggest increases are in the four novice chases. The Grade 1 Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase and the Grade 1 RSA Novices’ Chase are both up by £25,000 to £175,000 and £20,000 has been added to the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase (£150,000) and J T McNamara National Hunt Novices’ Chase (£120,000).

Ian Renton, regional director, Cheltenham & south west, said: “I am delighted to announce record prize money of over £4.3 million for The Festival which represents an increase of more than 10 per cent since 2015.

“For 2017, the major increases have gone to the novice chases, with the Racing Post Arkle and the RSA being run at £175,000 and the JLT Novices’ Chase at £150,000.

“We would like to thank all our sponsors who have assisted us in improving prize money for The Festival and look forward to four great days of racing in March.”

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