QIPCO Holding has today signed a new contract to extend its sponsorship of the British Champions Series and British Champions Day for a further five years in an improved deal which enables a £4m QIPCO British Champions Day within the term of the enhanced new contract.
The Day is currently worth £3m, already by far the most valuable raceday in this country.
The improved deal secures ongoing title sponsorship of the QIPCO British Champions Series, including full partnership rights for its starting point at the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood mid-way through the Series, and the grand finale on QIPCO British Champions Day.
The new agreement will enable British Champions Series to make regular six-figure prize money increases on QIPCO British Champions Day. Significantly, the deal provides additional prize money incentives which elevate the sponsorship levels still further should any of the three non-Group 1 races on QIPCO British Champions Day be upgraded.
The upgrading of these races remains a major short-term goal for the Series and its sponsor, with substantial prize money increases for these races set to follow as soon as this is achieved. A combination of planned prize money increases and upgrades to all three races could make a £4m QIPCO British Champions Day a reality as early as 2016.
Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chief Executive of QIPCO Holding, said:
“We believe that Britain hosts the world’s best horseracing. We respect and appreciate the heritage of the sport and we would like it to maintain its status as the most important and deep rooted in the world.
“This new deal highlights our commitment to the sport in this country and our desire to make QIPCO British Champions Day the best day’s Flat racing in the international calendar.
“We are still in the early stages of a journey which we hope will contribute to the overall wellbeing of top level Flat racing in this country for many years to come, with the subsequent benefits filtering down to the industry as a whole.
“This objective complements our own expanding bloodstock and racing operation, in which we have made a very substantial, ongoing investment and which will continue to be based in the UK.
“The deal reflects the very positive experience that we have enjoyed with British Racing to date, and the pleasure we derive from our association with Britain’s most famous and iconic race meetings such as the Guineas, Derby, Royal Ascot, Goodwood and York.
“We believe that the British Champions Series helps to signpost Britain’s most important and prestigious races to a wider audience and are delighted that it has already contributed to a new broadcast deal for the sport starting in 2013.”
Chris McFadden, Chairman of British Champions Series Limited, said:
“This is fantastic news for British Horseracing. We are absolutely delighted with this new, long-term deal with QIPCO, which puts British Champions Series Limited on a firm financial footing and which will enable us to meet our commercial objectives.
“Our shareholders have made a huge financial investment in delivering the Series and the Day, but none of this would have been possible without QIPCO Holding.
“The Series is a partnership between QIPCO and British Racing and on behalf of everyone involved in the industry in this country, and in particular Newmarket and Goodwood who are thrilled to benefit from the long-term sponsorship of the Guineas Festival and Sussex Stakes, I would like to thank Sheikh Hamad and his brothers for their fantastic ongoing support.”
Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said:
“It took considerable effort and sacrifice to get the concept of British Champions Series and British Champions Day off the ground and QIPCO’s long term commitment reflects the benefits of such innovation.
“Securing a major sponsor is part of virtuous circle of higher prize-money, high quality horses, customer participation and broadcast coverage, all of which safeguards the status of British Flat racing, and a five-year deal gives us the time and resource to grow the Series and Day further.
“The inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day last October attracted six of the world’s ten highest-rated, active horses, something that no other raceday in the world could match last year, and it is vital that we increase prize money as much as possible going forwards to establish the day as a really serious player on the international stage.”
About the Series
The QIPCO British Champions Series commences each year at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course with the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and culminates with the richest event in this country's horseracing history, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse in October. In all the series contains no less than seven of the world's top 12 races based on the official international classifications.
The series, which is worth circa £13m in prize money, features 35 Flat races split into five championship categories: Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares, staged at ten of the UK’s leading racecourses: Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Goodwood, Haydock Park, Newbury, Newmarket’s July Course, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, Sandown Park and York.