11/15/2015 9:32AM

Bonus worth half-milllion ties jump races in England, U.S.


CHELTENHAM, England - The Iroquois Steeplechase in Tennessee and Cheltenham Racecourse in western England are launching a $500,000 bonus for a horse that can win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle.

The series will start in the spring with the World Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 17. The winner of that race will be eligible for the bonus if successful in the Iroquois Hurdle on May 16. Both races are Grade 1 events at three miles.

The bonus does not have to be won in the same year, but in a 12-month period. For example, the winner of the 2016 Iroquois will be eligible for the bonus if successful in the 2017 World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The bonus is being sponsored by Brown Advisory investments, which has offices in Baltimore and London. Brown Advisory is a title sponsor of a handicap chase at the popular National Hunt festival at Cheltenham in March, of which the World Hurdle is part.

Promoters with Cheltenham and Brown Advisory are hopeful the bonus will reignite travel to major races from both sides of the Atlantic. Lonesome Glory, an Eclipse Award champion as outstanding steeplechaser, was a winner at Cheltenham, while another Eclipse Award winner, Flatterer, was second in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The British-based Morley Street won the Breeders’ Cup steeplechase in 1990 and 1991.