Qipco has extended as the title sponsor of Group One horse race the Irish Champion Stakes for a further three years.
Qipco first sponsored the Leopardstown showpiece at the inaugural Longines Irish Champions Weekend in 2014. The September contest is open to horses aged three years or older and is run over a distance of one mile and two furlongs. The 2016 race boasted a prize pot of €1.25 million (US$1.35 million), with the winning owner Ecurie Antonio Caro taking home €725,000 (US$783,000).
“We are delighted that Qipco have renewed their sponsorship of the Qipco Irish Champions Stakes," said Pat Keogh, chief executive of Leopardstown Racecourse. “They are great supporters of Irish racing and have been wonderful partners of ours. Since they became involved, the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes has established itself as one of the top races in the world. I would like to thank Qipco and Sheikh Fahad for their continued support.”
The 2016 running, won by French raider Almanzor, was ranked as the best race in Europe and the joint second highest-rated race in the world by handicappers.
Elsewhere in horse racing, Australia’s Royal Randwick Racecourse will host the inaugural Everest Sprint.
The joint announcement by race organisers Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club confirmed that the 14th October race will have a prize pool of A$10 million (US$7.6), thus making it horse racing’s most expensive turf race to date. The race sits only behind the US$12 million Pegasus World Cup dirt track contest and the US$10 million Dubai World Cup.
The Everest will be run over six furlongs under weight-for-age conditions.