Posted: 27th Oct 2015
Punchestown Racecourse today (Tuesday 27th October) made the major announcement that leading online betting exchange BETDAQ are to sponsor the Champion Hurdle at the annual Punchestown Festival for the next two years.
The €200,000 BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle is the feature race on the Friday of the five day event. The deal plays a major role as it means that all 40 races at the 2016 Punchestown Festival (26th – 30th April) are now fully sponsored with almost six months to go. To mark the announcement today’s meeting at Punchestown is a BETDAQ takeover with the company backing the entire card.
The newly titled BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle has been a happy hunting ground for champion jockey Ruby Walsh who has partnered five winners of the prestigious race. The record breaking Hurricane Fly dominated in recent times winning on four consecutive occasions and current hurdle superstar Faugheen will bid to retain his title in the 2016 renewal.
Welcoming the announcement Walsh commented “BETDAQ’s tagline is that they are serious about sport and they have certainly shown that to be the case with this major sponsorship. Some of my most memorable days in racing were winning what is now the BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle. I was lucky enough to ride Hurricane Fly on three of his four wins there and this year’s performance from Faugheen was something I wouldn’t mind repeating in 2016!"
Shane McLaughlin, BETDAQ Managing Director "We're big fans of Irish racing at BETDAQ and the opportunity to sponsor the Champion Hurdle on the Friday of the Punchestown Festival was just too good for us to turn down. It's always a great day at Punchestown and hopefully we will have a fit and healthy superstar horse in Faugheen, fresh from Cheltenham success, for the others to take on. That would be the ideal scenario."
Champion trainer Willie Mullins has trained six BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle winners and intends to target a strong team at the 2016 renewal: “The Punchestown Champion Hurdle has been an extremely good race for us. Hurricane Fly delivered year after year and then we were impressed with Faugheen this time around. It is great to see BETDAQ supporting what is one of the highlights of the season for us and we intend to have a strong team for the 2016 BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle”
Punchestown Head of Sponsorship Janet Creighton: “BETDAQ are the final and an integral piece in the sponsorship jigsaw for next year’s Punchestown Festival and we are so pleased to have them on board. The Friday of the festival is huge for attendance, for racing, for corporate hospitality and BETDAQ have stepped up to be feature sponsor on that day”.
Istabraq, Hurricane Fly, Hardy Eustace and Brave Inca are among some of the previous winners of the BETDAQ Champion Hurdle. The race will take place on Friday 29th April on day four of the Punchestown Festival (April 26th – 30th). Tickets for the BETDAQ Champion Hurdle Day at Punchestown cost from €35pp. For further information please visit www.punchestown.com
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