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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".

Hurricane Fly
© Caroline Norris

Hurricane Fly

The newly-supported races are both run on Sunday, November 17 - the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

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 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 Greatwood Hurdle (Grade Three) - Cheltenham, Sunday, November 17, 2013
NEW Morgiana Hurdle (Grade One) - Punchestown, Sunday, November 17, 2013
CONTINUING Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Grade One) - Newcastle, Saturday, November 30, 2013
CONTINUING International Hurdle (Grade Two) - Cheltenham, Saturday, December 14, 2013
CONTINUING Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade Two) - Haydock Park, Saturday, January 18, 2014
CONTINUING Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One) - Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Denis Kelly, CEO of 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 Greatwood Hurdle and the 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 Morgiana Hurdle and the 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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