Goodwood racecourse will be hosting one of the 2018 Silk Series races at the August Bank Holiday fixture, as part of a significant expansion of the programme.
Previously run exclusively at Arena Racing Company (ARC) racecourses, the Silk Series will now include races from Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and York Racecourses.
Launched across nine ARC racecourses in 2017, it is a pioneering initiative that gives female jockeys opportunities across popular summer racedays, while 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, winning the Love of The Sport category. The Silk Series is also nominated for the prestigious BT Sports Industry Awards in April.
Thirty-six different jockeys took part in the Silk Series in 2017, with apprentice Megan Nicholls claiming the Tufnell Trophy as the overall winner. The 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 taking place on Ladies’ Day of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse on Thursday, September 13.
As in the inaugural year, jockeys taking part in the 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.
The Goodwood leg of The Silk Series will take place on Sunday, August 26.
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 had last year.”
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 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.”