Qatar Goodwood Festival News

Goodwood
Tuesday 28th July - Saturday 1st August

Goodwood Racecourse announces biggest sponsorship in British racing with Qatar

Goodwood Racecourse is delighted to announce a new 10-year partnership with Qatar, which is the single biggest sponsorship deal ever done for the benefit of British racing. Commencing in 2015, this makes the Qatar Goodwood Festival one of the most significant and valuable meetings in the world.

The partnership results in over £2 million being invested into prize money for eight key races during the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2015 as well as a commitment to increase this year-on-year. Total prize money on offer for the week now totals £4.5 million, with Qatar once again demonstrating their passion and support for British racing.

The Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, scheduled for Wednesday, 29th July, has a total prize fund of £1 million cementing its position as one of the most valuable mile races in the world.

The Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the feature race on the Saturday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is now worth £600,000, making it the most significant mid-summer race for fillies.

Each Group 2 feature race, The Qatar Lennox Stakes (Tuesday), The Qatar Goodwood Cup (Thursday) and The Qatar King George Stakes (Friday) are now worth £300,000, recognising their recent records for attracting some of the best horses at their respective distances. In addition, Qatar has guaranteed that if any current Group 2 race achieves Group 1 status, the prize money will rise to at least £500,000.

Other races to benefit from increased prize money are the two Group 2 races for two-year-olds, The Qatar Vintage Stakes and The Qatar Richmond Stakes, each of which will run for £200,000, supporting their status as the proving grounds for future champions.

The Qatar Stewards' Cup is the headline handicap of the week with prize money now totalling £250,000 and, as part of this uplift, the consolation race rises to £75,000. This is a perfect example of how strongly Goodwood and Qatar feel about supporting racing at all levels.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes, The Qatar Goodwood Cup and The Qatar Nassau Stakes will remain part of the QIPCO British Champion Series.

The inaugural Qatar Goodwood Festival will take place from Tuesday, 28th July to Saturday, 1st August 2015.

Lord March, Owner of Goodwood, said:

"I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood's position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world. Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horseracing in the UK.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank QIPCO for their continued support through our key races in the QIPCO British Champion series. This remains important to me and to the success of racing at Goodwood."

Mr Hamad Al Attiyah, President of the Qatar Equestrian Federation, said:

"Thanks to the wise guidance of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar supports sport all over the world.

"Goodwood is already one of the most iconic sporting festivals of the British summer season and we are delighted to be the title sponsor over the five days. The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar's further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize-money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland.

"We look forward to working with Lord March and the team at Goodwood and taking the racing festival to a world class racing platform."

Races with upgraded prize money for 2015 at the Qatar Goodwood Festival;

Tuesday, 28th July The Qatar Lennox Stakes, Group 2, 7f   £300,000
Wednesday, 29th July - The Qatar Vintage Stakes, Group 2, 7f £200,000
Wednesday, 29th July - The Qatar Sussex Stakes, Group 1, 1 £1,000,000
Thursday, 30th - The Qatar Richmond Stakes, Group 2, 6f £200,000
Thursday, 30th July - The Qatar Goodwood Cup, Group 2, 2m £300,000
Friday, 31st July - The Qatar King George Stakes, Group 2, 5f £300,000
Saturday, 1st August - The Qatar Nassau Stakes, Group 1, 1m 2f £600,000
Saturday, 1st August - The Qatar Stewards' Cup (Handicap), 6f £250,000

There will be no race run at the Qatar Goodwood Festival worth less than £20,000.

Chris McFadden, Chairman of British Champions Series Limited, commented: "This new and significant investment in the Sussex Stakes is an extremely positive development for the QIPCO British Champions Series. One of the reasons the Series was created was to increase the value of British Horseracing's major races. Since the Series was launched in 2011, Newmarket, Epsom, Ascot, Newbury and now Goodwood have entered into long-term commercial deals that enable the racecourses to build prize money and maintain Britain's important reputation as home of the best racing in the world. We congratulate Qatar and Goodwood on this landmark sponsorship and thank QIPCO for enabling it."

Frankie Dettori, commented: "I have always found Goodwood one of the most exciting courses to ride at and for me it makes it even more special that Qatar will be sponsors of the Goodwood Festival. The hospitality and racing at Goodwood is world class and this should be the icing on the cake."

John Gosden, commented: "Both a timely and magnificent sponsorship arrangement for Goodwood which puts their Festival meeting on a true international standing." 

Richard Hannon, Champion Trainer, commented: "This new Qatari sponsorship is absolutely fantastic news for British Horseracing and in particular Goodwood. The sponsorship demonstrates the attraction commercially that Horseracing in this country holds. We have always had plenty of runners going to Glorious Goodwood and this will only encourage us to target the race meeting more and more."

Steve Harman, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, commented: "This announcement is great news for British Racing and for Goodwood. Qatar and the UK have a long and strong history - Qatar has become one of the UK's biggest trade partners. Racing is following similar lines - and this move yet again showcases the attraction of our great sport and the unique quality of the Goodwood experience - led by one of the sport's great entrepreneurs and innovators - Lord March. On behalf of British Racing I would like to thank Qatar Equestrian Federation for this amazing support."