George leads praise of Challenger Series prize money

Gloucestershire based trainer Tom George has praised the Challenger Series as an initiative that should be supported for providing excellent prize money to middle-tier jumps racing. George has eight entries in this year's Finals Day which take place at Haydock Park on Saturday - more than any other trainer.
Tom George said: "It’s a day that I’ve always had in the back of my mind as the prize money and value of the races is really good. It’s a great initiative that should be supported by trainers as it can be very hard to find races for horses rated around the 130 mark with good prize money."
He is hoping to follow up on last year's success when he saddled a winner on the first ever Challenger Series Finals Day with No Duffer in the Staying Chase Handicap Final.
George added: "All eight of mine will probably run and I actually had a couple more lined up that we sadly haven’t been able to get there for one reason or another. As a yard we are always trying to look for good prize money opportunities rather than just finding small races that we can win and so to aim for a day like this is great. We may come away empty handed but we had a winner there last year and we’ll be hoping for one this year. Either way my owners certainly appreciate the prize money opportunities as well."

A total of 115 entries were received for the culmination of the Challenger Series of which George has eight and he hopes all of them will take their place on Saturday.
The Challenger Series has been running across 35 racecourses throughout the core part of the 2016/17 Jump season. The Series is designed for horses rated between 0-135 and offers excellent prize money for the middle tier of Jump racing.
Each Series Final is a Class 2 Handicap with a total prize fund of £50,000 and £30,950 for the winner. The total Series prize fund for the Finals is therefore £300,000.
More than 40 trainers have made entries across the six finals helping the Series to achieve one of its key aims of offering mid-tier Jumps trainers and owners from across the country the chance to win excellent prize money.

List of Tom George runners

Middle Distance Chase Series 2.05pm
 Popular chaser Some Buckle heads the field in the Middle Distance Chase Series Final for Tom George.
George has also entered Ballinvarrig who qualified when finishing fifth in a Qualifier at Exeter and Cernunnos who was fifth in an Aintree Qualifier in December.

Stayers Handicap Chase 2.40pm
Aiming to win the race for the second year running, George has entered Moss On The Mill who won a Wincanton Qualifier in March and six-year-old Behind The Wire who was second at Doncaster in January.

Two Mile Handicap Hurdle 3.15pm
Stamp Your Feet will be George's only representative in the Two Mile Hurdle Final if he makes the cut after finishing fourth at Musselburgh in January.
   
Mares Handicap Hurdle 3.50pm
No entries.
   
Stayers Handicap Hurdle 4.20pm
Some Are Lucky is George's representative in the Stayers Hurdle Final and he earned his place at Finals Day by finishing second at Chepstow back in November.

Mares Handicap Chase 4.55pm
George's final runner on the card is likely to be Song Saa in the first ever Mares Chase Final who qualified at Cheltenham in December.

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