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Goodwood secures landmark Qatar deal

The State of Qatar has bolstered its presence in British horseracing through a 10-year title sponsorship agreement for the Goodwood Festival.

Full financial terms have not been disclosed, but Goodwood Racecourse has claimed the deal represents the single largest sponsorship agreement in British racing history. The prize funds for the festival’s races will be substantially boosted by an investment of £2m (€2.5m/$3.1m) when the agreement commences next year.

Qatar is contracted to increasing this commitment to the Goodwood Festival’s eight leading races year-on-year and the total prize money on offer throughout the week will be £4.5m for 2015.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes on July 29 remains one of the most valuable mile races in the world with its pot increased to £1m, while fellow Group One race the Qatar Nassau Stakes is now worth £600,000.

Each Group One feature race will be worth £300,000, with Qatar guaranteeing an increase to £500,000 should they attain Group One status.

The Sussex Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Qatar Goodwood Cup remain part of the British Champion Series, which is title sponsored by Qatari private investment firm QIPCO.

Goodwood owner Lord March said: “I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood’s position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world. Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horseracing in the UK.”

Qatar Equestrian Federation president Hamad Al Attiyah added: “The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar’s further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize-money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland.”

The 2015 Goodwood Festival is scheduled to run from July 28 to August 1.