British Champions Series secures record sponsorship deal

Runners in The Qipco British Champion Long Distance Cup at Ascot in 2014
The Qipco-sponsored British Champions Series culminates at Ascot in October

British horse racing has secured its biggest ever commercial deal, with an extended sponsorship between the British Champions Series and Qipco that is believed to be worth more than £50m.

The new deal runs until at least 2024.

The British Champions Seriesexternal-link comprises 35 top flat races and runs from May to October, culminating at Ascot.

"We are proud to support British racing and its wonderful heritage," chief of private investment firm Qipco, Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, said.

Qipco, which is owned by six brothers who are members of the Royal family of Qatar, became title sponsors in 2011.

Since then, prize money across the series - which starts at the Guineas Festival at Newmarket and ends with British Champions Day at Ascot, has increased by 50% to £17.4m in 2015.

Champion Series chief executive Rod Street said: "This is very positive for British racing. British Champions Series seeks to promote some of the sport's greatest assets and since Qipco's involvement in 2011, we have seen a significant improvement in the investment in our top races and a big increase in prize money."

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