It has been announced that there will be seven new qualifiers in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Series this coming jumps season.
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For horses to run in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final they must have secured their spot in a qualifier and the race has been a feature of the Cheltenham Festival since 2002.
There are now sixteen qualifying races plus the final, with additional races added at Exeter, Huntingdon and Carlisle.
Tim Watts, Chairman of Pertemps Group explained: "The Pertemps Handicap Hurdle series is a significant investment for us, but one that is great value too.
"The final at The Festival is one of the highlights of the year for many of our staff and clients, and the series of qualifiers over the course of the season allows us to place our brand in front of countless racegoers, television viewers, newspaper readers and Internet users.
"I'm delighted that we have extended the series even further and look forward to welcoming some French-trained qualifiers to the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final this season."
Meanwhile, Peter McNeile, Director of Sponsorship at Cheltenham, added: "We are thrilled that the Pertemps Series continues to flourish and grateful to Pertemps Group for their commitment.
"The addition of extra qualifying races this season will make the Final more competitive than ever, and with seven races taking place away from Britain, it truly is now a European race series."