Betfair to sponsor £1m King George

first_img Support The Guardian Share via Email Betfair to sponsor £1m King George This article is more than 10 years old Share via Email Share on Facebook Horse racing Share on Pinterest @Greg_Wood_ Wed 3 Dec 2008 19.01 EST Greg Wood Horse racing Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. 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The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Ascot on this ground-breaking agreement, especially as it will take us up to and beyond the course’s historic tercentenary in 2011,” Stephen Burn, Betfair’s director of horseracing, said yesterday. “Betfair’s first market was the Oaks in 2000, when 36 people had a bet. It is extraordinary that less than 10 years later we are involved in a deal like this.” Ascot will hope and expect that a seven-figure purse will bolster the prestige of the King George in the face of competition from the major autumn events, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup. The best three-year-olds in particular have tended to bypass the race in recent season, to give them time to recover from the Classics and prepare for September and October. The presence, or otherwise, of the Derby winner in next year’s race could be an early test of whether money alone can reverse that trend.Paul Blockley has withdrawn his appeal against the British Horseracing Authority’s decision to disqualify him from racing for 2½ years. The Lambourn trainer was banned in October as part of an investigation in connection with the alleged laying of horses to lose in 11 races that took place between March 2004 and December 2005.Ron Cox’s tip of the dayOld Brigade 3.20 WincantonThe amateur rider Anthony Knott, who has a race named for him elsewhere on this card, got his 15 minutes of fame after winning on Wise Men Say here a fortnight ago. The horse has been raised only 8lb and has the able Joe Tizzard in the plate this time but the form of that race is dubious. Dual winner Old Brigade has more solid credentials after an easy win at Exeter last time.center_img news This article is more than 10 years old First published on Wed 3 Dec 2008 19.01 EST Share on Messenger Read more Betfair, the internet’s dominant betting exchange, cemented its place in the betting and racing establishment yesterday less than nine years after its launch, when it was unveiled as the new sponsor of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The five-year deal, which will raise the value of the race to a minimum of £1m for the first time, follows two seasons in which the Royal racecourse has endured the embarrassment of running its premier event without a sponsor. Yesterday’s deal goes well beyond the King George itself, with the three-day late July meeting due to be rebranded as “Betfair Weekend”. The track’s most valuable steeplechase, run as the First Commercial Chase until the credit crunch forced David Johnson, the leading jumps owner, to withdraw his support, will now become the Betfair Ascot Chase, and is likely to form part of the Betfair Million bonus scheme from next season. The tie-up between Ascot and Betfair has clear benefits for both sides. Ascot has secured a major new sponsorship in the midst of the economic gloom. Betfair, meanwhile, is now the second biggest sponsor in racing after the Tote, and has acquired the benefits of cachet and respectability that only the Queen’s racecourse can offer. Derby Day is the working-class event at heart, staged on public land, while Cheltenham is where the country set like to be seen. Ascot, though, has been unashamedly upper-class ever since it was founded by Queen Anne nearly 300 years ago. Betfair’s reach will even extend to branding on the starting stalls during the Royal meeting in June. The exchange’s biggest players, meanwhile, will be intrigued by the possibility of being treated like royalty in an on-site “Betfair Lounge”. Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Shares00 Since you’re here… Topics Reuse this contentlast_img read more