02/14/2012 : Key horse race sponsorships enable rich prize purses
 
There have been a number of key online gambling operator and horse race sponsorship partnerships recently, and this week is no exception with no fewer than three announced in the past week alone.
 
Online betting exchange Betfair has entered into a sponsorship deal with Sandown Park's "The Brigadier Gerard Stakes horseracing event" to be held on May 31.  The evening meet features two Group Three races; the Henry II Stakes and The Brigadier Gerard Stakes races with a total of GBP 185 000 to be won in prize money.
 
“We are delighted that Betfair has agreed to sponsor The Brigadier Gerard Stakes meeting, our most prestigious evening meeting of the season and, indeed, in the country in terms of quality and prize money,” said David Mackinnon, managing director for Sandown Park.
 
“Betfair is proud to be sponsoring the best evening meeting of the year in terms of quality racing once again having supported the meeting from 2003 to 2008,” said Tony Calvin, head of media for Betfair.
 
Rank Interactive's sportsbook Blue Square has agreed to sponsor the Winter Derby at Lingfield Park Racecourse.  The all-weather Group 3 flat horse race carries a purse of GBP 100 000 and takes place annually in March.  The Winter Derby joins the Blue Square Winter Carnival and the Blue Square Sprint Series in Blue Square's horse race sponsorship portfolio.
 
“The past week has underlined the importance of the all-weather tracks to British horseracing,” said Richard Jaques, Blue Square public relations and sponsorship manager. “We have invested heavily in all-weather racing over the past couple of years and the Blue Square Winter Derby is an excellent addition to our sponsorship portfolio.
 
Last but not least, Ladbrokes has signed an additional three-year extension to its sponsorship of the St Leger, bringing to a decade of backing one of the oldest UK classic races.
 
Ladbrokes sponsorship of the race at Doncaster Racecourse in September will see GBP 550 000 in prize money.
 
“We have worked closely with Arena Leisure and Doncaster to rebuild the reputation of this great race,” said Mike Dillon, media affairs director for Ladbrokes.  “The Ladbrokes St Leger now attracts top-quality horses and the race-going public has returned in their thousands."
 
“We have a fantastic partnership with Ladbrokes and are extremely grateful for its long-term support at Doncaster Racecourse,” said Mark Spincer, managing director of Doncaster Racecourse.  “This latest announcement shows its dedication to the St Leger Stakes and the St Leger Festival in which it has played a major part in enhancing and promoting over the past decade.”