Worcester Racecourse will host Fergal O’Brien’s attempt to further secure his place at the top of the Jump Trainers Championship on Friday in the course’s biggest race day of the season.
The renowned Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Final takes place on Friday September 29, with two O’Brien entries likely to feature – Ajp Kingdom and The Galahad Kid – in the novices’ handicap hurdle at 4.00pm.
The Fixed Brush race day has established itself as the premier race day at Worcester and with total prize money of £70,000 on offer for the final it has attracted the best novice hurdlers in the country.
Named after the smaller, more rigid fences used, a top-rated fixed brush race used to be run at Haydock Park until 2017, but now Worcester has taken centre stage.
The Class 2, two-miles four furlong race has quickly become a mainstay of the Worcester calendar with a host of top trainers – including O’Brien, Donald McCain, Paul Nicholls, Dan Skelton and Peter Bowen – all using the race to blood their most promising horses.
The final of the series is the highlight of a six-race card and is the culmination of 36 qualifying races at Worcester and Southwell that began back on May 8
Last year’s race was won by the McCain-trained Presentandcounting, with jockey Brian Hughes adding another winner in a season where he successfully defended his champion jockey title.
This year, the focus is on trainer O’Brien, who leads the jump trainers’ championship from McCain and Welshman Bowen.
Ajp Kingdom has won three times over hurdles, with three second-places in his six races, while The Galahad Kid has been slightly less successful over hurdles with one win in four races.
Hughes will try to back up his victory last year on board Soldat Forte, trained by Charlie Longsdon.
Worcester Racecourse general manager Michael Thomas said: “This should be a fantastic day’s racing and we’re really pleased with the strength of the entries for the Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Final.
“The prize money now on offer reflects the value of this race as well as maintaining a focus for horses coming through from the grassroots of the sport through the qualifiers.
“It’s been a race that’s been really well supported by the country’s top trainers and that’s going to be the case again this year.”
Gates open for the Fixed Brush Series Final at 12.15pm on Friday, September 29 with the first race off at 2.15pm