Chepstow Jumps Festival 2015: Stars entered for new meeting
Some of the biggest names in National Hunt racing have been entered to run this weekend at Chepstow at their new two-day Jumps Festival.
The racecourse has combined their two October Saturday meetings to create a new weekend of racing on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 October.
There is £250,000 of prize money available across the two days.
Unofficial start to the jumps season
The season officially started at the end of April, four days after the previous one finished.
But in many people's eyes the season proper does not begin until October each year.
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Some National Hunt trainers have only a handful of runners over the summer whilst they rest many of their stable stars.
The Chepstow Racecourse executive director, Phil Bell, said: "Everyone in jump racing views Chepstow's first October Saturday meeting as the proper start of the winter campaign.
"This year we wanted to capitalise on that fact and have therefore created an exciting two-day festival with significant prize money.
"We are looking forward to welcoming the big names in our sport to Chepstow."
Stars on show
Former Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy is one of 18 entries in the £25,000 John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles on Sunday.
The nine-year-old, trained in Sussex by Gary Moore, is one of the most popular horses in training after he won at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.
Also in the line-up are Sound Investment and Rebel Rebellion, from the yard of champion national hunt trainer Paul Nicholls, and Jamie Snowden has entered his Cheltenham Festival winner Present View.
Nicholls said: "I have sent some of my very best horses to Chepstow for the October meetings over the years, including double King George VI winner Silviniaco Conti and with the extra prize money on offer this year I will definitely be readying a squad."
There could be a clash of Grand National winners in the Veterans' Chase on Sunday.
The 2014 Aintree Grand National winner Pineau de Re, trained by Dr Richard Newland, is entered along with Mountainous, who won the 2013 Welsh Grand National.
On Saturday, the £50,000 Silver Trophy is the feature race and has attracted 32 entries and one of the most competitive renewals for many years looks likely.
All the leading yards are represented as well as Nicholls, including Alan King, David Pipe, Charlie Longsdon, Rebecca Curtis and Philip Hobbs.
Former winners of this race include Don't Push It, which went on to win the Aintree Grand National in 2010.