Ladbrokes unveiled as new sponsor of first Grade 1 of jumps season at Down Royal

The first Grade 1 race of the jumps season will now be called the Ladbrokes Champion Chase after the firm was announced on Tuesday as the new sponsor of Down Royal's November festival.

The six-figure deal is the largest in Down Royal's history and the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase will have prize-money of €140,000.

The race was won a year ago by Road To Respect, while Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Kauto Star, Don Cossack and Looks Like Trouble have also been successful in the showpiece three-mile chase, which will be held on November 2 this year.

The feature of the Friday action on November 1 will be the WKD Hurdle, the richest hurdle race run in Northern Ireland.

Down Royal chief executive Emma Meehan said: "We are delighted to welcome Ladbrokes to our growing family of key sponsors and partners and look forward to working with them over the next three years.

"The most prestigious of our race meetings, the November festival, is set to be the biggest yet and, with attendance up 12 per cent year-on-year, we are anticipating a crowd of over 10,000 over the two days."

Nicola McGeady, Ladbrokes Head of PR, said: "Ladbrokes has a long and proud association with top-class horseracing and we are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting new sponsorship of the November festival of racing at Down Royal."