The Charleston Cup Steeplechase races are back and going strong.

With only one more event remaining on the National Steeplechase Association calendar after the Charleston Cup — the Colonial Cup in Camden next Saturday — the competition is expected to be fierce as year-end awards are being determined. A crowd of approximately 15,000 horse racing enthusiasts and tailgaters is expected for the event.

This year’s event will feature five races, one more than a year ago, with riders competing for a $60,000 purse. Last year’s purse was $50,000.

The first race is scheduled to begin at noon. The feature race, a 2 ¼-mile event over National Fences, is expected to draw a full field of 10 racing for a $25,000 purse.

Leading the field will be defending champion Tizsilk, which won by a nose last year. Tizsilk has one win and one second-place finish racing flat courses this year but will be making his first 2012 start on a steeplechase track.

The Charleston Cup returned to the National Steeplechase Association’s schedule last year after an eight-year hiatus. It was originally conceived as a marketing tool for the Stono Ferry development and held continually from 1986 through 2003 before being discontinued.