Ffos Las has announced the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle will now be run as a limited handicap over two and a half miles, with an increase in prize money also confirmed.
Officials at the Carmarthenshire venue have made the changes to their feature race on February 2 in a bid to make it more competitive and to avoid a clash with the Betfred Mobile Sports Contenders Hurdle at Sandown the same day.
Tim Long, Ffos Las general manager and clerk of the course, said: "We are proactively taking this initiative to ensure that the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle is as competitive as possible in the years to come.
"Making it a limited handicap and increasing the prize-money - up by 16% next year compared to when it was last run in 2011 - will make the race more attractive to owners and trainers.
"There is no getting away from the fact that Sandown Park's Listed hurdle scheduled for the same day is very similar to our race, so the increase to two and a half miles makes ours a different type of contest.
"I would be very hopeful that we will get a very competitive entry for the 2013 renewal - and we are once again delighted that William Hill is sponsoring our principal race."
Oscar Whisky, owned by Ffos Las chairman Dai Walters, beat four rivals in 2011. However, he is unlikely to bid for a repeat as his trainer Nicky Henderson stated on Tuesday that the horse was likely to run in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham the week before.
Walters said Oscar Whisky would only run in the race if the Cleeve Hurdle was abandoned.
He stated: "We see the move as a positive step. Sandown staged a similar race on the same day and we don't race on many Saturdays so we wanted a race that attracted a bigger field. By changing it to a handicap William Hill are happy and the trip will hopefully attract a better field.
"We would definitely look at the race for Oscar if the Cleeve was off. I had a good chat with Nicky the other day and we said if we don't go over three miles in the Cleeve we'll never know. We'll know after the Cleeve if he stays three miles and if he does he'll be favourite for the World Hurdle."
4 August 2015Hungerford aim for Limato
Matron option for Maria
Dods on Angel weather watch
Morny target for Shalaa
Dickinson makes training return
Scott to strike out on his own
Pearl shines at Nottingham
Bright new Dawn at Naas
Undrafted set to swerve Haydock
'Awesome' Acapulco primed for York
Tropics set for Breeders' Cup trip
Winters ponders next Rebel move
Sails set for Newbury
Hot aiming to burn off rivals
No return date set for Spring
3 August 2015Casey hoping for swift resumption
Ground key to Belardo targets
No hurry for Pharoah target
Phenomenal Pharoah does it again
Longford edges Galway thriller
Impact too strong at Chester
Fitz foiled on comeback
Baraweez in Galway repeat
McCullagh 'on the mend'
Amazing summer continues for Maria
Intilaaq camp on weather watch
Basem to step up in grade
Mini-break good for Horn - Gosden
Hobbs considered for Newbury trial
2 August 2015Dream week continues for Martin
Panama has American dream
Cyclone could stick to hurdling
Now Or Never excites O'Callaghan
Ervedya tackles Rothschild test
Mullins dominates Galway feature
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
1 August 2015Rebel returns at Galway
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Times targets Stewards' consolation
Hughes reflects on a golden career
Warrior books Ebor ticket
Muthmir makes amends
Hughes at his best on Bay
Mile proves golden for Beloved
Malabar stamps her class
Dettori guides Dubday to landmark
Charlton so Close to historic win
Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau