Cheltenham Bonus Series 2021/22

Plumpton Racecourse will again offer its well sought-after Cheltenham Bonus Series Prize for the 2021/22 season.

The pandemic badly affected the 2020/21 season and as such, the winning prize fund was scaled back to £40k, but we are delighted to confirm that the 2021/22 season’s prize will be increased to £50k.

We will be following the 4 race series format again though, with the 4 qualifying novice chases taking place on: Monday 15th November, Monday 13th December, Tuesday 21st December and Sunday 2nd January 2022.

This season’s pot will be split as follows:

£40k to the winning owners
£5k to the winning trainer
£5k to be shared by the stable staff at the winning yard.

The bonus scheme helps Plumpton attract genuine Festival contenders, and provides Plumpton racegoers with a great opportunity to see racing’s future stars in action, and a fabulous cash bonus for owners, trainers and stable staff on top of all the other benefits of winning at jump racing’s ultimate Festival.

Voy Por Ustedes: the only winner of Plumpton Racecourse Cheltenham Bonus Series in 2006.

What is the Series?

The Plumpton Racecourse Cheltenham Festival Bonus is a 4 race series whereby each of the 4 race winners from the below races at Plumpton qualifies to run for the £50k bonus at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

Plumpton stages 4 Novice Chases (as below) and the winners must then win any Steeplechase at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2022 to win the prize. If there are two or more horses that win a Plumpton qualifying race before going onto Festival success, the £50k bonus will be shared.

Monday 15th November – 2m 3f 164y - Class 3 (WFA race – Weight for Age race -for 4 year olds and upward)

Monday 13th December -  2m 214y – Class 3 (WFA & Conditions Race (Conditions are penalties for wins in various classes of races))

Tuesday 21st December – 2m 214y – Class 3 (0-135 Handicap)

Sunday 2nd January 2022 – Class 3 – 2m 3f 164y (WFA & Conditions Race)

Baron Alco: won two novice chases at Plumpton in the 16/17 season before a gallant second at Cheltenham in 2017.

History

The series began in the 2000/01 season with the aim of trying to attract top horses to run at Plumpton before going onto stardom at the Cheltenham Festival.  In all of these seasons, there has only been one winner and that was Voy Por Ustedes who won a Novice Chase at Plumpton on December 12th, 2005 before winning the Arkle at Cheltenham on 14th March, 2006 at odds of 15/2. This was for owner Sir Robert Ogden, trainer Alan King and jockey Robert “Choc” Thornton.

This means there has been 15 years of no winners despite the series being run in all of those seasons, but there have been a few close calls with notable 2nd places the festival for Baron Alco in 2017, Top Notch in 2016 and Uxizandre in 2014 after winning their bonus races here.

Recent qualifying race winners to run well at the Festival

Date Winning Horse Trainer Cheltenham Race Finishing Position
02/01/12 Kumbeshwar Alan King Grand Annual - 16/03/12 Third to Bellvano
18/11/13 Uxizandre Alan King JLT Novices' Chase - 13/03/14 Second to Taquin Du Seuil
03/01/16 L'Ami Serge Nicky Henderson JLT Novices' Chase - 17/03/16 Third to Black Hercules
14/11/16 & 02/01/17 Baron Alco Gary Moore Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate - 16/03/17 Second to Road To Respect
28/11/16 Top Notch Nicky Henderson JLT Novices' Chase - 17/03/17 Second to Yorkhill
12/12/16 Theinval Nicky Henderson Grand Annual - 17/03/17 Third to Rock The World
20/11/17 Benatar Gary Moore JLT Novices' Chase - 15/03/18 Third to Shattered Love
19/11/18 Mister Malarky Colin Tizzard RSA Novices' Chase - 13/03/19 Fourth to Topofthegame