Sky Bet sponsor Supreme
Sky Bet have been unveiled as the new sponsors for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival.
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A five-year deal will see the Leeds-based bookmaker support the traditional curtain raiser at the March showpiece.
Run over an extended two miles, the roll of honour for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle includes such Festival legends as Flyingbolt, L'Escargot, Bula, Golden Cygnet, Buck House, Hors La Loi III and Brave Inca.
Sky Bet will also sponsor two Grade Two novices' hurdles on "The Road To Cheltenham", the Sky Bet Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday November 17 and the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Trial Hurdle (registered as the Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle) at Haydock Park on Saturday January 18.
They are also looking to expand the series further ahead of March.
Peter McNeile, Head of Sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse, commented: "I am really pleased that Sky Bet will be sponsoring the Supreme Novices' Hurdle for the next five years.
"This is the company's first major sponsorship at Cheltenham and to position it with such a prominent race in the Supreme Novices' is great.
"Like a lot of the championship races that are run at The Festival, we have built the deal around some of the races that lead to the Supreme Novices', which will help to drive the narrative of the sponsorship.
"I am already, like I'm sure the team at Sky Bet are as well, looking forward to the traditional roar from the crowd at the start of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' to signify the start of The Festival."
Michael Shinners, Horse Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, added: "Sky Bet is delighted to be sponsoring the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
"Being the first race of the most eagerly-awaited meeting of the season means it has a special place in the hearts of racing fans. It is a fantastic championship race and has been a stepping stone to greatness for many horses over the years.
"The 2014 renewal already looks likely to continue the trend. The Sky Bet-sponsored contests in the build-up are top quality races in their own right and alongside the Sky Bet Supreme Novices', make for a mouthwatering series through the autumn and winter.
"With Sky Bet now offering the Best Odds Guaranteed concession on all UK and Irish races, this sponsorship further strengthens what we already believe to be one of the best racing products in the marketplace."