Cheltenham Racecourse in England is to stage its first-ever major, professional snooker tournament next year after securing hosting rights to the 2019 World Grand Prix.

The event will take place in The Centaur section of the venue from February 4-10, featuring 32 of the best players in the world.

Professionals will compete for a top prize of £100,000 (€114,000/$134,500) at the event, with the total prize fund to amount to £375,000.

Preston, also in England, hosted last season’s World Grand Prix, with Ronnie O’Sullivan beating Ding Junhui in the final.

Lee Moulson, regional head of sales at Cheltenham Racecourse, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be hosting the 2019 World Grand Prix here at Cheltenham Racecourse.

“We look forward to working on the event over the coming months, next Spring will be a busy time for us with the snooker in February and the world famous Cheltenham Festival the following month.”

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn added: “As well as being world famous for horse racing, this is a superb venue which hosts a wide range of major events and we have no doubt it will prove a top class facility for one of our leading tournaments.

“The popularity of snooker has grown dramatically in recent years, both in terms of its television and live audience, so we are always looking for new locations where we can give fans the opportunity to see the players in the flesh. Tickets will go on sale soon and they will sell rapidly so fans are strongly urged to book fast.”

Image: DerHexer