NEWBURY Racecourse has confirmed that bookies Ladbrokes will sponsor its annual winter meeting to include the former Hennessy Gold Cup.
The value of that race will rise by 25 per cent to £250,000 and will feature on the second day of the 14-race festival that will be staged on Friday and Saturday,December 1-2.
Total prize money will be increased by almost £100,000 to £700,000.
Ladbrokes will back 13 of the 14 races over the festival, with the exception the Saturday running of the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Handicap Steeplechase.
Racecourse chairman Dominic Burke said: “The Newbury Board's decision to partner with Ladbrokes as the new sponsor for this prestigious meeting was made in light of the Government's commitment to replace the existing Levy Scheme from April, 2017.
“Given the Government's position, our Board felt that it could agree future sponsorship arrangements with any betting operator for race meetings taking place after that April date.”
Negotiations have been held with Ladbrokes since well before Hennessy’s final sponsorship, a deal that came to an end after 60 years.