Welsh Champion Hurdle moved to October slot

Silsol claimed the Welsh Champion Stakes when last staged in 2015

PICTURE: Steve Davies (racingpost.com/photos) Welsh Champion Hurdle moved to October slot
By Mark Scully 11:01AM 14 SEP 2016

THIS SEASON'S Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las will be run in a new slot on Saturday, October 15 as officials seek to ensure better weather for the feature contest.

The race, traditionally run in late January or early February since it was resurrected in the late 2000s following the opening of Ffos Las, was lost to waterlogging earlier this year, having also been abandoned in 2010 and 2012.

When last staged in January 2015, it was the Paul Nicholls-trained Silsol who claimed the prize and Ffos Las sales director Sarah Jones believes the £70,000 race can attract even stronger fields earlier in the campaign.

"The race has been warmly received by trainers and punters as a fantastic addition to the National Hunt calendar," said Jones.

"The winter weather conditions for the past two years have been extreme and the chairman and directors have taken the decision to re-locate the fixture to October.

"This will ensure this the jump season starts at Ffos Las in great style."

Drainage improvements a plus

As well as the relocated feature race, bosses at Ffos Las have also expressed delight with the installation of a new drainage system, with clerk of the course Keith Ottesen saying the work should lead to better conditions at the Welsh venue.

"We are confident that the investment made in upgrading the drainage will make a huge improvement to the track, which is already looking in great condition thanks to head groundsman Arwyn Morgan and his team.

"Moving the Welsh Champion Hurdle to our opening jumps meeting should also ensure a very high quality contest."

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