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Close Brothers switches support to G1 Mares' Hurdle as Cheltenham welcomes Northern Trust as new sponsor on day one of The Festival™

Press Release 5th February 2020 Cheltenham

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."

About Close Brothers

Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading. We employ over 3,000 people, principally in the UK. Close Brothers Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250.

Our Banking division provides lending to small businesses and individuals, with an emphasis on specialist finance. We also offer deposit taking services to UK businesses and individuals.

In Securities, we provide trading services in the UK through Winterflood, a leading market-maker.

Close Brothers Asset Management provides a range of financial advice, investment management and on-line investing services, helping clients to secure their financial future.

About Northern Trust Co Ltd

Northern Trust is a privately owned company, established in 1962, with a successful track record in property investment, development, land management and regeneration.

The existing property portfolio extends to almost 8 million sq ft of industrial, trade counter and office parks, together with more than 5,000 acres of land throughout the UK, with circa 1,500 acres currently being promoted through the planning process for mixed use development. 

Northern Trust works closely with house builders, local authorities and special purchasers in bringing forward regeneration opportunities; and has already secured planning for circa 4,500 homes. Our current projects covering more than 30 sites incorporate a mixture of uses including the potential of bringing forward a further 5,000 new homes.  

In addition, Northern Trust has developed over 3 million sq ft of commercial space in over 50 locations with a further 0.5 million sq ft currently under construction or with planning being prepared for commencement on site within the next year. The company also benefits from a supplementary land bank for the longer term. 

The Commercial and Industrial portfolio contains circa 4,000 individual units with unit sizes ranging from as little as 285 sq ft up to c 50,000 sq ft and office suites from as little as 1 person upwards. Premises are situated in over 200 separate locations and the portfolio extends from the South Midlands to the central belt of Scotland. Through recent acquisitions and development almost 1 million sq ft has been added to the portfolio. The portfolio is actively managed by Northern Trust's in-house surveying practice Whittle Jones. Whittle Jones have regional offices in the North West, North East, Yorkshire, Midlands and Scotland. 

Northern Trust has substantial funds available for new investment, development, and regeneration initiatives throughout the UK. For further information on Northern Trust please visit our website at www.northerntrust.co.uk

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