It has been announced that there will be a 27th race at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival with a two and a half mile Novice Chase being added to the card, the new race will be sponsored by Jewson and will be the first race on the Thursday of the Festival in March. It is a boost for the Festival with another race adding to revenues during the week and will extend the Thursday card to seven races, the previous Jewson Novices Handicap has now been moved to Tuesday and will be run under the banner of the Centenary Novices' Handicap Chase.
The new race at two and a half miles falls in between the two mile Arkle Trophy and the three mile RSA Chase, organisers are confident that the talent will not be diluted at the Cheltenham Festival but that will be of some concern to punters. Connections are now left with another option for their horses if they are unsure over the trip, this may well harm the ante-post betting with punters likely to keep their powder dry until runners are confirmed. There is sure to be plenty of entries to the new race through and will give those heading to the Festival this year better value for money, with the new Jewson Novice Chase also giving punters an extra betting race to get stuck into.