Grand National needs new sponsor with John Smith's pulling out after 2013 race
Aintree has been dealt a blow with John Smith's ending its sponsorship of the Grand National after the 2013 renewal.
Last Updated: 24/11/12 6:41pm
The beer producer has leant its support to the National since 2005 and told The Times it was a "difficult" decision to end its sponsorship of the three-day April meeting.
John Smith's spokesman David Jones said: "We will continue to be involved with the sport at other courses, including York, Newcastle and Brighton.
"The Grand National has been one of the jewels in our sponsorship crown and this decision was difficult.
"We will be exploring ways in which John Smith's can continue to be involved in the three-day meeting and talks with Aintree will take place in the coming months."
Aintree chairman Lord Daresbury is confident the meeting will not be short of suitors.
He said: "I'm sad about it. With a new management team in place, it comes at a bad time and puts more pressure on us all.
"It would naturally have been easier if John Smith's had been willing to extend the contract again, but I am completely confident the race will attract plenty of new interest."