Cheltenham Racecourse is delighted to announce that OLBG.com is to sponsor the Mares’ Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) at The Festival for a further five years. It was revealed today by the British Horseracing Authority that the prestigious contest has been upgraded to Grade One level.
The two and a half mile race takes place on day one of The Festival, which in 2015 will be Tuesday, March 10. Prize money will be raised to £100,000 for the 2015 running, up from £85,000. OLBG.com, the online sports betting community, sponsored the Mares’ Hurdle for the first time in 2012. It is run in commemoration of the legendary Cotswold-based jockey and trainer David Nicholson, who passed away in August, 2006.
Quevega dominates the roll of honour for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, with the brilliant Irish performer having captured six of the seven runnings to date – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Willie Mullins-trained superstar created history when becoming the first horse to win a race six times at The Festival following her victory in 2014. A new name is guaranteed on the roll of honour in 2015 with Quevega now retired to stud.
In addition to the Mares’ Hurdle at The Festival, OLBG.com will also generously sponsor a series of hurdles races for mares on the Road To Cheltenham, which will take in events at Wetherby, Kempton Park, Ascot, Doncaster and Warwick. OLBG.com will also continue to sponsor at Cheltenham’s April Meeting.
Dean Goddard, PR Representative for OLBG.com, The Sports Betting Community, commented: “OLBG has worked hard over recent years to help improve the opportunities for mares in Jump racing through the formation and development of the OLBG Mares Road to Cheltenham.
“We are delighted that the BHA has recognised the improved quality of mares Jump racing by upgrading the OLBG Mares Hurdle at The Festival to Grade One level.
“The Festival at Cheltenham is quite simply the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ and OLBG is honoured to be a part of it. By committing to our series for at least another five years we hope this enables mares’ Jump racing to progress even further. We would like to reach out to the owners and trainers of mares to support the series and work with us so we can continue to move it forward.” Carey Buckler, Regional Sponsorship Manager for Jockey Club Racecourse – South West, added: “I am delighted that OLBG has extended its sponsorship of both the Grade One OLBG Mares Hurdle at The Festival and the six races on the Road to Cheltenham. “It has been well documented how Quevega has dominated for the past six years, but the race continues to go from strength to strength following today’s announcement that it has been upgraded to Grade One status.