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European Cross Country Series Includes "Double Money" Bonus at The Festival as Glenfarclas is Announced as New Sponsor 15/10/08

Cheltenham Racecourse today announced that Glenfarclas, the family-owned producers of award winning Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, are to back a series of five major Cross Country Steeplechases this season across three countries, concluding at The Festival next March.

The series, which includes all three of Cheltenham’s Cross Country races, takes in additional races at Pau in South-West France in January, and Punchestown in February to create a monthly highlight for Cross Country specialists.

The three Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechases at Cheltenham, which are all covered by Channel 4 television, take place on Friday, November 14, at The Open, Friday, December 12 at the Boylesports International and Tuesday, March 10, at The Festival. The Pau and Punchestown events are run on January 18 and February 1 respectively.

In a new twist this season, Glenfarclas will be backing an innovative incentive to encourage international competition. Any horse remaining in the same ownership throughout, and participating in both the French and Irish legs of the series, will be eligible to run at the Festival for double prize money, meaning that a qualifying winner would get a bonus in excess of £30,000 and potentially, the race could be worth up to £100,000, double the advertised prize fund, which would make it the most valuable Cross Country race in Europe.

Peter McNeile, Cheltenham’s Director of Sponsorship, said: “We are delighted to welcome Glenfarclas as sponsors at our three biggest meetings each season and the new bonus is a fascinating and exciting twist to a unique pan-European series. Glenfarclas is a brand famed for its single-mindedness and I’m confident that this bold move will further increase the international competitiveness of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase at The Festival. As a whisky drinker myself, I am equally confident that Glenfarclas will appeal to the racing enthusiast too.”

John Grant, Chairman of Glenfarclas, said: “We are very proud to be associated with such a prominent series of races at Cheltenham and believe it to be in perfect synergy with the Glenfarclas brand. This commitment to an initial three-year partnership is a sign of our confidence that this is the right vehicle for Glenfarclas at a difficult time for everyone. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Cheltenham”.

Charles Hamer, Marketing Director for Pol Roger, which has sole distribution rights for Glenfarclas in the UK, added: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Glenfarclas Cross Country series. This is a great opportunity for us to work with Cheltenham to showcase our brand across Europe. The five events, particularly the race at The Festival, will provide a tremendous platform for the brand. It would be terrific if the new Glenfarclas Bonus produced even more interest in what is already a unique series of races.”

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