Ahead of International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March, Arena Racing Company (‘ARC’) is delighted to announce a significant expansion of The Silk Series to include races from Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and York Racecourses.
Launched across nine ARC racecourses including Bath in 2017, The Silk Series is a pioneering initiative that gives female jockeys opportunities across popular summer racedays, whilst raising funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK. The Silk Series was recognised at the Racecourse Association Showcase Awards in 2017 for its achievements in helping to raise the profile of female jockeys currently working in Great Britain in winning the ‘Love of The Sport’ category. The Silk Series is also nominated for the prestigious BT Sports Industry Awards, which will take place in April.
Thirty-six different jockeys took part in The Silk Series in 2017, with apprentice Megan Nicholls winning The Tufnell Trophy as the overall winner, after winning on Ladies' Day at Bath in the penultimate race of the series. The Tufnell Trophy, kindly 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 13 September 2018. As in the inaugural 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 thirteen 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.
“We hope interest in The Silk Series will continue to grow this summer, and look forward to competitive racing as we did last year, with Megan Nicholls a very worthy winner of The Tufnell Trophy”
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.
The Silk Series ambassador, Hollie Doyle said, “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”
Official betting partners, bet365, have teamed up with renowned 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.
Hayley Moore commented, “I am really looking forward to working with bet365 over the summer to bring The Silk Series to a wider audience. I’m really excited to help raise the profile of the jockeys taking part, and hopefully help punters and Cancer Research UK raise a few pounds with some winners!”
Full information on The Silk Series, the race programme, the leaderboard and a fortnightly blog from ambassador Hollie Doyle can be found at www.thesilkseries.co.uk.