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All jumps day at Ballarat in new season

The Grand National Steeplechase will be the feature race on an all-jumps card at Ballarat in the new jumps season.

Racing Victoria on Friday announced its jumps racing program for 2017 with 63 races to be held, 43 over hurdles and 20 steeplechases.

The highlight will be a six event all-jumps race meeting at Ballarat on August 20, which will also feature the J J Houlahan Hurdle.

It is believed to be the first time since the 1800s that Victoria will host an all-jumps race meeting.

The Grand National meeting in August this year was to be an all-jumps card, but the first day of a scheduled two-day meeting was reprogrammed because of wet weather and two flat races were added to Grand National day.

Pakenham will host the first jumps races of the season on March 16 to be run in the twilight spot at the night meeting, while the season concludes at Coleraine on September 24.

Nine venues across Victoria will host jumps races with Warrnambool the most active with 14 races programmed, five during its three-day May carnival.

Jumps racing returns to the Sale track for the first time since 2009 while Terang will host trials on May 24 with an eye to being approved for jumps racing in 2018.

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