• Betfair to become headline sponsors of Newcastle’s feature meetings, The Northumberland Plate Festival and Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) and Newcastle Racecourse are delighted to announce a new multi year partnership with Betfair for both the Northumberland Plate Festival and Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
The Betfair Northumberland Plate Festival runs for three days between Thursday 27 and Saturday 29 June, with the historic Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate the feature race, which will be broadcast live on ITV 1 and Sky Sports Racing. The richest two-mile handicap in Europe, the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate has been run at Gosforth Park since 1882 and is known locally as the Pitmen’s Derby.
The race was won in 2018 by the Roger Charlton trained Withhold, ridden by Robert Winston and owned by Tony Bloom.
Other feature races run over the three-day meeting include the Group 3 Betfair Exchange Chipchase Stakes and the Group 3 Betfair Exchange Hoppings Stakes, which is staged on the popular Gosforth Park Cup Evening Meeting on the Friday night and celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2019.
In addition to their support of the Northumberland Plate fixture, Betfair will also take headline sponsorship of the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Run at the beginning of December over two miles, the race has been won in the last two years by two-time Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air.
Executive Director of Newcastle Racecourse, David Williamson, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Betfair on board as the principle partner of two of our feature meetings at Newcastle Racecourse. The Northumberland Plate is a race very much embedded in the history of the area and we look forward to a new era with such a prestigious new sponsor.”
“The Fighting Fifth often attracts some of the top two-mile hurdlers from Britain and Ireland and the clash between Buveur D’Air and Samcro was one of the most anticipated clashes of last season.”
Brand Director for Betfair in Europe, Stephen Mault, commented, ‘’To add such an historic Heritage Handicap like the Northumberland Plate and the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle to our ever evolving and increasing Horseracing sponsorship portfolio clearly outlines our commitment to the sport. Our own heritage is steeped in Horseracing and we strive to give racegoers a very unique experience when they attend a Betfair sponsored race day. That is something we, in conjunction with the team at Newcastle, will be focusing on delivering in the coming weeks and months’’
For more information regarding the Betfair Northumberland Plate Festival, or to buy tickets, please visit www.newcastle-racecourse.co.uk.
Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is the largest racecourse operator in the UK. In 2019 ARC Group racecourses will host 570 fixtures with 1.2 million people attending racing at one of ARC’s racecourses each year.
ARC is made up of the following sixteen racecourses: Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester.
ARC runs four of the six all-weather racecourses in the UK offering three different types of surface for horses to run on: Polytrack at Lingfield Park, fibresand at Southwell Racecourse and tapeta at Newcastle and Wolverhampton Racecourses – the only tapeta racing surfaces in Europe.
In 2013 ARC pioneered the All-Weather Championships which see horses compete throughout the winter for the chance of qualifying for a £1 million Finals Day on Good Friday at Lingfield Park. This initiative is helping raise the profile and prestige of all-weather racing in Great Britain.
ARC hosts racing at all levels of the sport from Class 7 through to Group 1s. Doncaster Racecourse is home to the world’s oldest Classic, the William Hill St Leger, run each year in September as part of the four-day William Hill St Leger Festival as well as the final Group 1 of the year in Britain, the Vertem Futurity Trophy. Feature jumps races include the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle Racecourse, the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse and Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
As well as racing, ARC also operates a hotel at Wolverhampton Racecourse, a hotel, spa resort and golf course at Lingfield Park and The Border Minstrel public house at Newcastle Racecourse in the grounds of Gosforth Park. The Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse opened in September 2018.
ARC is a significant shareholder in the horseracing TV channel Sky Sports Racing which is broadcast on the Sky platform to c.14 million homes.
ARC plays a pivotal role in British Racing. It is a shareholder in British Champions Series and Racecourse Data Company; a signatory to a British Horseracing Authority’s and Horsemen’s Group Prize Money Agreement; and on the boards of the Racecourse Association (“RCA”), Great British Racing (“GBR”) and British Champion Series (“BCS”).
In 2015 ARC set up The Racing Partnership. This limited company represents the media rights of the 15 ARC owned-racecourses and the 7 independent racecourses Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Ripon and Towcester.
In addition to racecourses ARC owns Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound Stadia and looks after the media interests of the Greyhound Media Group (“GMG”).
ARC employs 650 permanent staff and engages with 3,500 casual staff for racing and events across its racecourses. Further information about ARC can be found at www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk.