York Racecourse and Sky Bet are delighted to announce the extension of their sponsorship partnership through to 2028, now including title sponsorship of the Sky Bet Ebor Festival (17-20 August), whilst retaining other races on the Knavesmire.
Over a total of 12 races spread over each of the four racedays in August as well as two Sky Bet Race to the Ebor contests and the whole card on Sky Bet York Stakes raceday in July, the total prize fund now exceeds £2.7m. An impressive sum which is £637,000 or 23% up on the 2018 values, when the Ebor itself was first part of a previous agreement.
The renewed partnership demonstrates the mutual investment in prize money at Pattern, handicap and developmental race level. The £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor remains Britain’s richest flat handicap. On the same Saturday card, the Group 2 Sky Bet City of York Stakes will now be the richest racecourse funded Group 2 in Britain at £400,000 (being a Group 1 sized kitty), in addition to a new Sky Bet Constantine Stakes, a six-furlong sprint handicap with a six-figure purse. Thursday’s Sky Bet Lowther with a prize fund of £250,000 will be Britain’s richest juvenile fillies Group 2 and Wednesday’s £100,000 Sky Bet Nursery Britain’s richest race of this type. Wednesday’s Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur increases by £30,000 to its new record value of £200,000.
The forty Entries for the Sky Bet City of York as revealed last week, include Group 1 winners Perfect Power and Alcohol Free. Entries for the Sky Bet Ebor itself include Valley Forge, Gaassee, Earl of Tyrone who have guaranteed their berth via winning the Race To The Ebor Series, an innovation created around the famous handicap.
York and Sky Bet will continue to work in partnership around an expanded Ebor Community Fund in 2022, with £33,000 to be donated to local good causes. The project links Yorkshire charities and community groups to the Sky Bet Ebor by inviting them to submit applications to be paired with one of the 22 runners in the Sky Bet Ebor. The one paired with the winning horse will receive a donation of £20,000 to their cause with prizes for placed horses, with all the final 22 collecting at least £1,000.
Initiatives such as the Sky Bet Preview Evening, staged from the track on Tuesday 16 August, both live audience and online, will continue to raise awareness of the top-quality action.
Consistent with their support of competitive, high value action as well as of innovation, Sky Bet were the inaugural sponsors of Music Showcase Weekend back in 2004. This weekend their steadfast backing will see the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes run at a record £125,000 alongside the excitement of the Sky Bet Jump Jockeys Nunthorpe.
Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse, William Derby, said, “Our partnership with Sky Bet stretches back some 18 years and has seen both organisations grow and invest in the sport we love. This agreement sees this tremendous partnership continue through to 2028 with a record investment in prize funds across our race programme, to support Owners and help attract star horses for us all to enjoy. We remain hugely appreciative of our partnership with Sky Bet and both organisations are committed to further developing and growing the racedays.”
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Michael Afflick. Flutter UK&I Creative and SBG Brand & Sponsorship Director, said, “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Sky Bet Ebor, as well as being the new title sponsor of the Ebor Festival itself. The relationship that we have built with York over the past 18 years has been a fantastic one and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the coming years”.