Cheltenham-based sports tour operator Venatour has launched a fresh set of racing tours for Jump racing enthusiasts as Official Travel Partner to the Crystal Cup.

The firm has assembled impressive itineraries for short breaks in Belgium, France, and Italy as a precursor to further tours to other legs of the 2024-25 Crystal Cup Challenge.

Aimed initially at British & Irish racing enthusiasts, the tours will encourage a wider perspective on European Jump racing. Marc Blackford, Director of Horseracing Travel at Venatour, remarked, ”We are really excited to have partnered with the Crystal Cup. Not only does this series of jump racing offer fantastic racing and an excellent atmosphere, they are also located in lovely locations offering the opportunity to combine racing with a few days away. Following our hugely successful racing tours to Waregem, Merano and Velka Pardubicka last year, we soon realised the Crystal Cup offers unique experiences that our guests thoroughly enjoyed. We already offer fantastic racing trips around the world and to add the Crystal Cup Series to our calendar is fantastic”.

Peter McNeile has been leading the commercial development of the Crystal Cup with the re-admittance of Punchestown for the 2023-24 season made possible by the cancellation of Cheltenham’s Festival cross country.

He added, “We’re all delighted to work with Venatour to develop a following around these eclectic races. There is more and more interest in racing on the Continent, not least as so many of our horses in training are now bred in France, and many trainers are plying their trade successfully in France, if not necessarily beyond. The variety of steeplechases and venues across our 7 participating countries is wonderful to enjoy, and we look forward to welcoming many guests, and to encouraging as many Continental racegoers to make a return trip across the Channel.”