The race is on for Cheltenham spot

A qualifying race for one of jump racing’s longest running and most successful series is the feature race at Market Rasen’s next fixture tomorrow (Thursday).

Tower Bridge, left, will be among the entrants at Market Rasen. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

The Pertemps Series, run over three miles, culminates in a final at The Festival at Cheltenham next March.

Thursday’s race, on a card entirely sponsored by Pertemps, is one of 15 in the UK, while there are also qualifiers in Ireland and France.

The first six horses home in all the qualifying races get the chance to head to the final, long regarded as one of the most competitive races at The Festival.

Extra interest on Thursday may come if the top weight amongst the 15 entries, Tower Bridge, stands his ground.

He’s trained in Ireland by Joseph O’ Brien, who began the month by saddling the winner of the legendary Melbourne Cup, the race which stops the nation in Australia.

Tower Bridge was a Grade One winner in Ireland earlier in his career.

Nadia Powell, General Manager at Market Rasen said: “ I am delighted to welcome Pertemps back to Market Rasen It is a huge testament to them that the series has gone from strength to strength since they started supporting it in 2002.

“Rapper, who won the qualifier at Market Rasen a year ago went on to finish seventh in the final so we’ll again be hoping for some extra interest next March.”

Racing behind closed doors gets under way at 12.30pm.

The entire card will be broadcast live on Racing TV.