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High-profile Festival race sponsorship goes up for auction

Press Release 26th September 2019 Cheltenham

Thursday, September 26, 2019 – The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham offers the four greatest days of Jump Racing to be found anywhere on earth and a unique opportunity has arisen where any individual or company can have a race staged under the name of their choice.

An anonymous person has generously agreed to financially support the G2 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, which takes place as race six on Day Three (March 12 in 2020).

The sponsorship platform will be offered to the highest bidder at an exclusive auction, which will be staged on Tuesday, October 1 at the Greenhouse Charity Dinner at Annabel’s, the legendary nightclub in London’s Mayfair. The event will be hosted by Mike Sherwood and Ali Churchill.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Wyndham Walks as part of their fundraising for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity to buy much needed and state of the art equipment.

In addition to the naming rights to the G2 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, the highest bidder will also acquire other benefits including an invitation to an exclusive sponsors’ preview with champion jockey Richard Johnson in London ahead of The Festival, hospitality for up to 30 guests on the day of the race as well as advertisements in the racecard and on course.

Carey Weeks, Head of Partnerships for the South West region of The Jockey Club, commented:

Thanks to the generosity of the race sponsor, this one-off chance to name the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival has now arisen.

“This is an exciting development and I am sure there will be plenty of interest at the auction on October 1. It is also gratifying to see that all proceeds from the auction will be going to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

“The Festival offers such a unique opportunity for promotion with a live audience of over 265,000 racegoers and a television audience of 3.5 million viewers, ensuring that all eyes are on whatever you want to promote.

“We look forward to welcoming and working alongside the winning bidder.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle Facts & Figures


The Mares' Novices' Hurdle was introduced to The Festival in 2016 to give more opportunities to fillies and mares.

It is the second race exclusively for female horses at The Festival, following on from the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

There was a place on the third day, Day Three, following the decision to cease running the charity Flat race.


The maximum number of runners allowed is 22 and a full field lined up in 2019. There were 16 runners in both 2016 and 2017, while 2018 saw 14 runners face the starter.


Willie Mullins has won all four runnings to date with the Susannah Ricci-owned pair of Limini (2016) and Let's Dance (2017), plus Laurina (2018) and Eglantine Du Seuil (2019), who both won in the colours of Sullivan Bloodstock.


Ruby Walsh partnered both Limini (2016) and Let's Dance (2017) to victory.


The first three runnings all went to favourites. The 2019 race saw a big upset with Eglantine Du Seuil winning at 50/1.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle Previous Results

2019-WINNER-EGLANTINE DU SEUIL 5-11-02 Owner-Sullivan Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-50/1

2ND-Concertista 5-11-02 Owner-Simon Munir & Isaac Souede; Trainer-Willie Mulllins IRE; Jockey-Danny Mullins; SP-66/1

3RD-Tintangle 6-11-05 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Jack Kennedy; SP-40/1

22 ran, Time- 4m 51.09s, Dist-sh, 1¾ 15/8 Fav Epatante (9th)

2018-WINNER-LAURINA 5-11-07 Owner-Sullivan Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-4/7 Fav

2ND-Cap Soleil 5-11-07 Owner-Mrs S A Noott; Trainer-Fergal O'Brien; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1

3RD-Champayne Lady 6-11-02 Owner-Rory Connell; Trainer-Alan Fleming IRE; Jockey-Denis O'Regan; SP-80/1

14 ran, Time-4m 15.40s, Dist-18, sh

2017-WINNER-LET'S DANCE 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/8 Fav

2ND-Barra 6-11-02 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-12/1

3RD-Dusky Legend 7-11-05 Owner-Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-20/1

16 ran, Time-4m 2.00s, Dist-2¾, nk

2016-WINNER-LIMINI 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-8/11 Fav

2ND-Dusky Legend 6-11-02 Owner-Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-50/1

3RD-Bloody Mary 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1

16 ran, Time-3m 58.00s, Dist-4½, 2½

If you need any information about racing at Cheltenham, please contact: Sophia Dale, Communications Manager - Jockey Club Racecourses South West 01242 537 683


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