Arena Racing Company (ARC) has announced an expansion of The Silk Series to include races from Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and York Racecourses.
Launched across nine ARC racecourses in 2017, The Silk Series gives female jockeys opportunities across popular summer race days, whilst raising funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK.
Shortlisted at this year’s BT Sport Industry Awards, the series saw 36 different jockeys take part in 2017, with apprentice Megan Nicholls winning The Tufnell Trophy as the overall winner. The Tufnell Trophy, donated by Inkerman, is named in honour of Meriel Tufnell, the first woman to ride a winner under rules in British Racing, in 1972.
In 2018, The Silk Series will offer a total of £150,000 in prize money, with the £20,000 final once again taking place on Ladies Day of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse on Thursday 13th September 2018.
As in the first year, jockeys taking part in The Silk Series will win points based on their finishing position in each race, with the winner having accrued the most points over the course of the 13 races.
ARC director of external affairs, Susannah Gill said: “We were all absolutely delighted with the reception that The Silk Series got from the racing community and wider sports industry last year, and we are very pleased to welcome our new racecourse partners in Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and York. All four racecourses will help to increase the opportunities for female jockeys to compete on popular racedays and give a valuable contribution to raise the profile of The Silk Series.
Jockey Hollie Doyle, who passed the landmark of 100 career wins in January 2018, will once again act as ambassador for The Silk Series, with her image featuring across the marketing, as well as providing an insight into her life as a professional jockey via a fortnightly blog.
Doyle added: “Last summer, The Silk Series offered a number of the female jockeys the opportunity to ride that they might not have had before, and the chance to ride for new trainers as well, which is key to helping progress your career.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be involved again this year and look forward to sharing my thoughts and views on being a professional jockey with my blog”
Meanwhile, official betting partner, bet365, has teamed up with broadcaster Hayley Moore, who will guide racing fans and punters through The Silk Series, as well as offering tips and a £100 charity bet on each race, winnings from which will be donated to CRUK.