4th March 2020
Close Brothers switches support to G1 Mares’ Hurdle as Cheltenham welcomes Northern Trust as new sponsor on day one of The Festival™
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 – Cheltenham announces today two sponsorship changes on day one of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Tuesday, 10 March.
The G1 Mares’ Hurdle will now be supported by Close Brothers, the leading UK merchant banking group. Close Brothers’ involvement with The Festival began in 2016, when it took on the sponsorship of the novices’ handicap chase on day one. Close Brothers’ are also a Group wide partner of The Jockey Club and Sir A P McCoy is the company’s brand ambassador.
The £120,000 G1 Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (4.10pm) was introduced to The Festival in 2008 and has been dominated by trainer Willie Mullins, who has landed nine of the 12 runnings to date. Six of Mullins’ victories were provided by the extraordinary Quevega, who created history by winning the contest every year between 2009 and 2014.
With Close Brothers transferring its support to the Mares’ Hurdle, the novices handicap chase will now be sponsored by land and property company Northern Trust Co Ltd.
Introduced to the race programme when The Festival extended to four days in 2005, the £70,000 Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase takes place over two and a half miles and is the penultimate contest on day one (4.50pm). Always a very competitive contest that often attracts a maximum field (20 runners), the Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase went to subsequent G1 winner A Plus Tard in 2019 for owner Cheveley Park Stud, trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore.
Carey Weeks, regional head of partnerships for Jockey Club Racecourses South West, said: “Cheltenham is extremely grateful for the ongoing support from Close Brothers, which is now in its fifth year of partnership at The Festival.
“It seems very appropriate that the name of such a dedicated Group Partner is now associated with one of the G1 highlights at the Home of Jump Racing.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Northern Trust as the new sponsor of the novices’ handicap chase on day one of The Festival.
“Northern Trust will have its name attached to what is always one of the most hotly contested contests of the four days and one that gets a lot of people talking in the countdown to The Festival.”
Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, 10 March, to Friday, 13 March, 2020 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season.
More information is available at www.cheltenham.co.uk and through:
About The Jockey Club
Cheltenham is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
If you need any information about racing at Cheltenham, please contact: Sarah Jane Muirie, Communications Manager - Jockey Club Racecourses South West 01242537683 SarahJane.Muirie@thejockeyclub.co.uk
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