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Posted 2024-06-23 11:57:01  
MAJOR BRITISH RACING SPONSOR PULLS THE PLUG

Newmarket's Guineas festival, King George weekend at Ascot, and the British Champions Series will need new sponsors next year, presenting a challenge for British racing. The Qatar Investment and Project Development Holding Company (Qipco) has decided to end its long-term sponsorship of these events but will continue its headline sponsorship of British Champions Day and its partnership with Ascot until 2026.

Qipco has sponsored the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas for 14 years, with Frankel’s remarkable win marking the inaugural race under their sponsorship. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, sponsored by Qipco since 2014 after Betfair, will have its final running under Qipco on July 27 at Ascot.

Qipco, a private investment company from Doha led by Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, made a significant impact on British racing in 2015 by announcing a multi-million-pound, ten-year investment in the sport through high-profile sponsorships and prize-money boosts.

David Redvers, Qatar Racing’s manager and the sponsor’s representative, stated, “We wish to concentrate our focus on developing British Champions Day and our partnership with Ascot at the royal meeting. We feel we have helped develop the British Champions Series over the last 14 years and are proud of its achievements, including over one million followers on social media and the Hall of Fame and Club 26 initiatives.”

Amy Starkey, managing director at Jockey Club Racecourses, the largest shareholder in British Champions Series Limited, thanked Qipco for their sustained support and passion for the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas over the past 14 years. She praised Qipco's investment for the growth of the Guineas festival since 2011.

Betfred sponsors the other three British Classics, including the Derby and Oaks until 2026 and the St Leger this year. Qatar Racing also sponsored the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster after Vertem Asset Management went into administration, but this two-year-old contest now requires a new sponsor for this year.

Qipco has been the inaugural sponsor of British Champions Day since 2011, and their new commitment will extend this support to 16 years. Redvers emphasized that Sheikhs Hamad and Fahad al Thani's commitment to promoting top-tier racing remains strong, noting the success of British Champions Day in attracting a younger audience and solidifying its status in the global racing calendar. 

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