It had been announced during the week that Betfred would be terminating its relationship with British horse racing when contracts are set to be renewed next year. This move will see almost all but every store shut down on course tracks that are operated on behalf of Betfred, although we will still see them attend at Chelmsford and Ascot.
Since this bold decision was made, many racecourse groups, whom represents the key race courses in the country, have implied that they are extremely confident with finding replacement sponsors for the big and all-important events during the season.
All race courses that are under the Jockey Club umbrella, have many marquee races that will be in the need of financial backing, such races are staged at Haydock, Warwick, Sandown, Newmarket and Huntindon too.
In a response to this matter, a spokesperson for the Jockey Club Racecourses has said:
“We’ve valued Betfred’s sponsorships at our courses, as with all our partners, and will continue to do so for the duration of our partnership,”
“We demonstrated through the period of authorised betting partners, for example, that our sponsorship properties are popular and have value for all sorts of brands, including other betting operators.”
One particular group that will require a new sponsorship for its events will be the Arena Racing Company, who stages the Midlands National, at Uttoxer, and The November Handicap, at Doncaster. Glorious Goodwood will also be in the lookout for a new sponsor too; being an incredibly high-profile event makes it important to find one. Comparatively, York will need sponsorships for the Ebor and the Dante.
With Betfred deciding to shut down its shops on course, it will lead Cheltenham needing to strike a new business relationship with a company, as Betfred currently operates most of premises.
With this situation needing to be resolved, Ian Renton, the regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses in the south west, is confident that all 6 of Cheltenham’s premises will be fine.
“Prior to Betfred coming on board with the Tote there were a number of other operators that we had,” said Renton. “We now feel this creates an opportunity for other bookmakers to be on the course.”