Newmarket Racecourses is delighted to announce that 666Bet is the new sponsor of the historic seven furlong handicap, the Bunbury Cup, on Darley July Cup Day, the final day of the Moët & Chandon July Festival on Saturday, July 12.
The Heritage Handicap, which has a prize fund of £120,000, up £20,000 from last year, is being run as an early closing race for the first time this year and has attracted a bumper entry at the closing stage yesterday.
A total of 106 horses have been entered for the 666Bet Bunbury Cup, more than double the 51 that were engaged at the six-day stage last year, and among them appear last year’s victor Field Of Dream, who is once again being targeted at the race by his trainer, Jamie Osborne.
“He runs in the Hunt Cup next Wednesday, which is his first run of the year, and I think he’s pretty fit,” the Lambourn trainer said. “But we are obviously taking a different route with him this year – last year he had been to Dubai and had a fairly hard time. We’ve left him fresh as most of his targets will be in the second half of the season, so the plan would be the Hunt Cup followed by the 666Bet Bunbury Cup. He ran well in the Hunt Cup last year before winning the 666Bet Bunbury Cup and we’ll be hoping for something similar this year.
“Because we’ve played him a bit differently this year – and I know he’s not getting any younger [at seven] – there is a chance he might be a better horse this summer. He’s had a proper break for the first time in his career and we are very happy with him.”
In addition to the 666Bet Bunbury Cup, the new bookmaker – who have signed QPR manager and prominent horse racing owner Harry Redknapp as a brand ambassador – will also sponsor the preceding race on the card, the 666Bet Superlative Stakes, a Group 2 event that has been won by subsequent Group 1 winners Dubawi and Olympic Glory in the past ten years.
Barry Martin, CEO of 666Bet, said: “We’re really excited about our first major race sponsorship. Newmarket is the home of flat racing and the Bunbury Cup is one of the biggest handicaps of the season.
“We created a lot of noise with our 1966/1 England World Cup offer and we are going to be aggressive with our racing product as well when it launches in the next few weeks. We’re already planning some interesting promotions for the day, so watch this space!”
Amy Starkey, Regional Director – The Jockey Club East Region, said: “We are delighted that 666Bet are sponsoring two prestigious races at the Moët & Chandon July Festival and think that the Bunbury Cup and Superlative Stakes are a perfect fit for a new bookmaker. The 666Bet Bunbury Cup is always one of the most fiercely competitive handicaps of the year, while the 666Bet Superlative Stakes often throws up top-class horses, as was the case two years ago with Olympic Glory.
“The total prize money on offer at the Moët & Chandon July Festival is up 5.48 per cent to £1,635,000 and that will ensure the racing is as competitive as ever.”
About 666Bet (www.666bet.com)
666Bet is a fully registered online gambling website and launched with an astonishing promotion last week, offering its first 1966 customers odds of 1966/1 for England to win the World Cup.
About Newmarket Racecourses (www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk)
Newmarket Racecourses is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport (2013 turnover: £166.9m), The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2013: £158.7m), racecourses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2013: 1.74m), total prize money (2013: £41.6m), contribution to prize money (2013: £18.24m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket and Lambourn; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing’s people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.