The hunt for a Cheltenham Gold Cup sponsor is OVER as Boodles step in to back the showpiece contest of the four-day Festival… raising the prize fund to pre-pandemic value of £625,000
- Cheltenham race track have finally secured a sponsor for the Gold Cup
- Two sponsors, Racing post and RSA Insurance, had ended their support
- Boodles stepped in to back the showpiece contest of the four-day Festival
- The jeweller signed a ‘multi-year deal’ and the prize fund will be £625,000
- Boodles have backed the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle since 2018
Cheltenham have finally secured a sponsor for the Gold Cup with jeweller Boodles stepping into back the showpiece contest of the four-day Festival on March 18.
With the most significant meeting of the jumps season seven weeks away, time was running out for Jockey Club racecourses to pin down a backer with other prospective sponsors walking away.
That had led to fears that the bad publicity garnered when the 2020 Festival was staged as the Covid-19 pandemic emerged had damaged the Cheltenham brand.
Cheltenham race track have finally secured a sponsor for the Gold Cup in March
Jeweller Boodles stepping into back the showpiece contest of the four-day Festival
Boodles have signed a ‘multi-year deal’ and the Gold Cup will be returned at pre-pandemic values with prize fund of £625,000.
Boodles have backed the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Festival since 2018 and will continue to support that race.
Cheltenham had been dealt a blow as two of their long-standing sponsors had pulled out
RSA Insurance were Cheltenham’s longest running supporter after backing them since 1974
Cheltenham’s managing director Ian Renton added: ‘It is wonderful to enjoy this association with Boodles at Cheltenham and we are very proud to see this partnership expand to take on the most prestigious jump race in the world.’
Last year the Jockey Club gifted the sponsorship of the Gold Cup to charity WellChild after previous sponsors Magners pulled out just 36 days before the race, ending their three-year sponsorship deal 12 months early.
It is understood that action remains the subject of legal action from the Jockey Club.
Meanwhile, some of Britain’s leading hopes for the Festival have been entered for Trials day at the track on Saturday.
The Racing Post’s departure was expected after the paper was forced to stop its print this year
Boodles have backed the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Festival since 2018
They are headed by the Nicky Henderson-trained Chantry House, who bids to bounce back from the disappointment of being pulled up in the King George VI Chase, in the Cotswold Chase and stablemate Champ, who can cement his status as Britain’s leading hope in the Stayers’ Hurdle when he lines up in the Cleeve Hurdle.
Henderson, who has a glut of riches in the novice hurdle division headed by Constitution Hill and Jonbon, will step Balco Coastal, a dual winner over two miles, up to the two and a half mile Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in a bid to open up options.
Henderson said: ‘We are trying to work out where all these novices slot in.’