The oldest Classic horse race in the world will carry a new name in 2023, with Betfred having secured a multi-year partnership with the St Leger Festival to become the headline sponsor of the globally renowned Betfred St Leger Stakes.
The four-day Betfred St Leger Festival, running from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th September at Doncaster Racecourse, will see the new partnership extend across a number of key races, including the Betfred May Hill Stakes, Champagne Stakes, Park Stakes and Doncaster Cup.
Betfred boss Fred Done said upon the announcement “To have the Betfred name attached to the St Leger Festival is not just a sponsorship but a privilege. I am proud to be associated with the world’s oldest classic which is obviously synonymous with great horses like Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, Dunfermline for the Queen and Oh So Sharp for Sir Henry Cecil.”
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Having first been run in 1776, the Betfred St Leger is the world’s oldest Classic. The race represents the final leg in racing’s historic Triple Crown, of the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, the 2023 version of which goes ahead this Saturday (May 6) and the Betfred Derby at Epsom Downs, set to be run at 1:30pm on Saturday June 3. The Triple Crown has not been achieved since the great Nijinsky in 1970, ridden that day by Lester Piggott.
Doncaster’s city status, which was granted as part of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, will be commemorated with the renamed Betfred City of Doncaster Handicap, run on the final day of the four-day meeting.
Across the Arena Racing Company group, Betfred has previously sponsored races such as the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter and the Lingfield Oaks and Derby Trials, as well as a number of races at Doncaster, including the November Handicap.
The Arena Racing Company chief executive, Martin Cruddace, said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Betfred as the headline sponsors of the St Leger Festival and of the Betfred St Leger itself.
“Fred Done and his team have long been keen supporters of British racing, and the inclusion of this historic race meeting into their sponsorship portfolio is another indication of their commitment to the sport. The whole sport is extremely fortunate to benefit from working in partnership with Fred and his team and we very much look forward to a fantastic Betfred St Leger Festival in September.”
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