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Irish Grand National boosted by title sponsor extension

Bookmaker Boylesports has retained title sponsorship rights to the Irish Grand National horse racing event until 2019.

Boylesports, which has held naming rights to the event since 2014, reached the three-year extension to its contract with the Horse Racing Ireland organising body.

Under the agreement, a Boylesports betting shop will continue to be provided for the event, which takes place annually at the Fairyhouse racecourse in County Meath.

HRI also announced that the prize fund for the 2017 edition of the race would rise to €500,000 ($564,000) from €275,000. As a result, the winner of next year’s race will receive more than the total prize fund for the 2016 edition.

Boylesports’ director of retail Jenna Boyle said: “Irish owners do not need any incentive to take part in this iconic event, but the significantly-increased sponsorship will add to the international prestige of the event, and in particular, should assist in attracting more UK owners across the Irish Sea in their pursuit of winning the jewel in the crown of the Irish National Hunt calendar, the BoyleSports Irish Grand National.”

The increased prize fund makes the Irish Grand National the most valuable Irish jumps race, and the third-most valuable in terms of prize money across Ireland and the UK, behind only the Grand National and Gold Cup.

The 2017 Irish Grand National will be held on April 17. The Ger Fox-ridden Rogue Angel won the 2016 race.