Sky Bet to sponsor York's Ebor Handicap as prize money increases to £1m
Last Updated: 03/04/18 12:14pm
The Ebor, already Britain's richest Flat handicap, will soon be worth £1m after Sky Bet agreed a five-year deal to sponsor the York showpiece.
The high-class 14-furlong contest is one of the highlights of York's August Festival and is an integral part of Yorkshire's racing heritage, having first been run in 1843.
This summer's renewal will be worth £500,000 with prize money then leaping to £1m in 2019, and it will be one of a number of Ebor Festival races to be backed by Sky Bet.
The Leeds-based firm will also take on sponsorship of the Melrose Stakes, also known as the "three-year-old's Ebor", which sees prize money increase to £125,000, and the Great Voltigeur Stakes worth £170,000.
Sky Bet will also continue to back the City of York Stakes and has also added the Strensall Stakes and two other competitive handicaps on the Saturday of the festival to its sponsorship portfolio.
Chief executive Richard Flint said: "Sky Bet is proud to be based in Yorkshire and we are excited to be part of the future of such a great race.
"Today is only the first phase of an exciting partnership which I hope will mean fantastic things for Yorkshire racing."
York Racecourse chairman Lord Grimthorpe added: "The Ebor has been a feature of my racing life and I think these plans set it on a firm course for future success.
"This great race encapsulates ambition, innovation and heritage, all of which are very much a part of York's ethos."
Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said: "British racing has made its commitment to the continued production of quality staying horses well known, and this sizeable investment is another boost for owners, breeders and trainers of staying horses.
"We need to do more to ensure that we keep stayers in training here in Britain and reduce the number of horses being exported overseas, and a £1m Ebor in 2019 will certainly be a significant incentive, as will the increased prize money for the Melrose."