Wednesday October 30,2013 : STAN JAMES IN HORSE RACING SPONSORSHIP MOVES
Land and online betting company renews sponsorship of Champion Hurdle and extends its support to ‘Road to Cheltenham' series.
The Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that online and land betting group Stan James has renewed its sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle and is backing two more leading trials for the hurdling showpiece on the "Road To Cheltenham".
The newly-supported races are both run on Sunday, November 17 – the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham and the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
The bookmaking group first sponsored the Grade One Champion Hurdle at The Festival in 2011, when Hurricane Fly was successful. Rock On Ruby took the 2012 renewal before Hurricane Fly triumphed for a second time in 2013, becoming only the second horse to regain the hurdling showpiece.
The 2014 Stan James Champion Hurdle, run over an extended two miles, takes place on Champion Day at The Festival, on March 11, 2014.
A Stan James spokesman said that the company is also significantly stepping up its sponsorship of the leading trial races in the build-up to the Stan James Champion Hurdle. Five leading trials are now sponsored, with contests at Cheltenham and Punchestown added to the company's existing support of races at Newcastle, Haydock Park and Cheltenham.
Significantly, Stan James' backing of the Morgiana Hurdle is the first time the company has sponsored a race in Ireland.
Denis Kelly, CEO of StanJames.com commented: "We are delighted to be sponsoring the Road To Cheltenham series which leads to the Stan James Champion Hurdle in March.
"We are particularly pleased at the addition of two races, the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle and the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle, which gets the proceedings underway on Sunday, November 17."
Peter McNeile, head of sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse, said Tuesday: "It is great news that Stan James has renewed its contract for the Road To Cheltenham two-mile hurdle races, to include the new additions of the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle and the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle, which take place on the same day on different sides of the Irish Sea.
"The two-mile hurdle division looks set to provide us with some thrilling action this season, with prominent horses such as The New One, Hurricane Fly and Our Conor."