Stan James Renews Sponsorship of Champion Hurdle
Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that Stan James has renewed its sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle and is backing two more leading trials for the hurdling showpiece on the "Road To Cheltenham".
Stan James first sponsored the Grade One Champion Hurdle at The Festival in 2011, when Hurricane Fly was successful. Rock On Ruby took the 2012 renewal before Hurricane Fly triumphed for a second time in 2013, becoming only the second horse to regain the hurdling showpiece.
The 2014 Stan James Champion Hurdle, run over an extended two miles, takes place on Champion Day at The Festival, Tuesday, March 11, 2014.
Stan James is also significantly stepping up its sponsorship of the leading trial races in the build-up the Stan James Champion Hurdle. Five leading trials are now sponsored by Stan James, with contests at Cheltenham and Punchestown added to the company's existing support of races at Newcastle, Haydock Park and Cheltenham.
The two mile hurdle division is one of the most competitive areas in National Hunt at the moment with Champions such as Hurricane Fly and Rock On Ruby. The older horses however face some tough competition from their juniors, who are progressing out of novice hurdling this season, with The New One winning so impressively at Kempton Park on Sunday, October 20 and the exciting Our Conor, who is set to face Hurricane Fly in the Stanjames.com Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday, 17 November. The New One is currently favourite with the sponsors at 4/1 with second favourite Our Conor at 5/1.
Significantly, Stan James' backing of the Morgiana Hurdle is the first time the company has sponsored a race in Ireland.
The full list of races now sponsored by Stan James is as follows:
NEW StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle (Grade Three) - Cheltenham, Sunday, November 17, 2013
Denis Kelly, CEO of StanJames.com commented: "We are delighted to be sponsoring the Road To Cheltenham series which leads to the Stan James Champion Hurdle in March.
"We are particularly pleased at the addition of two races, the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle and the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle, which get the proceedings underway on Sunday, November 17.
"The latter sees the Road To Cheltenham head over the Irish Sea for the first time with reigning champion Hurricane Fly set to face Triumph Hurdle hero Our Conor at Punchestown in a mouth-watering contest."
Peter McNeile, Head of Sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse, added: "It is great news that Stan James has renewed its contract for the Road To Cheltenham two-mile hurdle races, to include the new additions of the StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle and the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle, which take place on the same day on different sides of the Irish Sea.
"The two-mile hurdle division looks set to provide us with some thrilling action this season, with prominent horses such as The New One, Hurricane Fly and Our Conor.
"I am sure therefore that Stan James will find this partnership with all the racecourses incredibly rewarding."
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