Cheltenham Racecourse today announced that leading online betting operator sportingbet.com is to sponsor a new 50,000 race at The Showcase, aimed at the top four-year-old hurdlers. The sportingbet.com Hurdle, to be run on Saturday, October 17, and broadcast live on Channel 4 Racing, will be a conditions race with the basic weight set at 10 stone 12lb, and replaces a similar event previously run at Aintree. sportingbet.com will also be sponsoring a 25,000 three-mile handicap chase on Friday, October 16, the first day of Cheltenham s new season.
Cheltenhams Director of Sponsorship, Peter McNeile, welcomed the new sponsorship initiative. "We are extremely pleased to welcome sportingbet.com, one of the world's leading online betting companies, as a new sponsor at Cheltenham , particularly as backers of such prestigious races at the start of our season. The Showcase is growing in popularity and interest each year, and Im sure that the upward curve will be maintained in 2009. Andrew McIver, CEO of sportingbet.com, said his company was proud to be associated with Cheltenham and with an exciting new start to the National Hunt season. We are delighted to sponsor such an exciting race which we hope will attract the best four-year-old hurdlers, as well as sponsoring such a competitive steeplechase. sportingbet.com continues to go from strength to strength in racing and our new association with Jump racing's best loved venue helps demonstrate our commitment to the sport and to our racing customers. It is a great opportunity for us to entertain existing customers and to attract new clients as lead sponsor of Cheltenham s first fixture of the season, he said.