UK gambling firm Betfred has been unveiled as the new sponsor of the St Leger festival following a multi-year deal between the firm and the operator of the event.
The new arrangement between Betfred and Arena Racing Company (ARC) means that the gambling firm will now sponsor three of the five British Classics and will be joining the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes as a sponsor of Britain’s oldest Classic dating back to 1776.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Betfred’s founder Fred Done outlined that sponsoring the St Leger festival means more than just business for his company – it is a privilege – and he is “proud to be associated with the world’s oldest Classic which is synonymous with great horses like Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, Dunfermline for the Queen and Oh So Sharp for Sir Henry Cecil.”
Under the terms of the deal with ARC, Betfred will sponsor several of the major supporting races among which the Doncaster Cup and Champagne Stakes, and ARC’s chief executive officer Martin Cruddace was more than happy to welcome the firm as the headline sponsor of the St Leger festival.
Fred Done and his team have long been keen supporters of British racing, and the inclusion of this historic race meeting into their sponsorship portfolio is another indication of their commitment to the sport.
Martin Cruddace, CEO, ARC Betfred will replace Cazoo, the sponsor of the last two runnings of the St Leger festival which is the final British Classic of the season and will take place from September 14 to September 17. The first two Classics, the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, will take place at Newmarket this weekend and will be sponsored by Qipco.
The new sponsorship followed less than a month after Betfred was designated as the sponsor of The Oaks and The Derby at Epsom Downs following the three-year deal with another of the major owners of racecourses in Britain, the Jockey Club.
The St Leger festival sponsorship will significantly expand Beftred’s presence in Britain’s horse racing over the next three years and help the brand which was once a prominent sponsor of horse racing in the country to accelerate its return to the sport’s sponsorship top.
In the past, Betfred has associated with sponsorships of the Ebor, Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch handicaps, as well as the country’s jewel in the crown, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but stepped back, when the exclusive license to operate pool betting at racecourses held by Tote, the operator Betfred acquired in 2011, ended in 2018.