British Champions Series, which aims to become the world’s most prestigious horseracing series, today announced a major two-year agreement with QIPCO, the Qatari based private investment company, for the right to be worldwide title partner for the new series.
A private company with a diverse range of investments, such as real estate, construction, oil and gas, QIPCO’s portfolio of interests includes Qatar Bloodstock, which owns the stallion Makfi, the winner of the 2010 2000 Guineas and who stands in the UK at Tweenhills Stud, Gloucestershire.
The multi-million pound, two year agreement with QIPCO matches the ambition of British Champions Series to establish an easy-to-follow premier horseracing series, featuring the leading racecourses, horses and jockeys, which captures the imagination of both sports fans and racing’s existing audience in the UK and around the world.
As the Title Partner of British Champions Series, QIPCO will enjoy exclusive naming rights for the new series and full partnership rights for the new £3m British Champions Day climax at Ascot, which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain. As part of the deal, QIPCO also becomes the official partner of the Guineas Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, which launches the British Champions Series with the 2000 and 1000 Guineas, and the prestigious Sussex Stakes, a key British Champions Series race staged as part the Glorious Goodwood festival.
This substantial new investment in British racing follows several early commercial successes for British Champions Series, including the BBC purchasing the rights to broadcast live on BBC1 all five championship races from British Champions Day, while BBC Worldwide secured the right to sell the British Champions Day broadcast internationally. Domestic broadcast rights for the series are split between Channel 4 (19 races) and the BBC (16 races).
Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chief Executive of QIPCO Holding, said:
“We are delighted to embark on this partnership. We want to raise the international profile of QIPCO and the British Champions Series provides the perfect platform for the company to reach a wider audience.
“Comprising the very best of British Flat racing and including many of the world’s most famous races, all of which are renowned for their prestige and quality, the British Champions Series is the ideal vehicle for QIPCO in our drive to develop new investment and business opportunities in the UK and around the world.
“Through Qatar Bloodstock, which owns the stallion, Makfi, we already have an interest in the British racing and breeding industry. It is a business that we also have a passion for and we are proud to be the title partner of the British Champions Series.”
Karl Oliver, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome QIPCO to partner British Flat racing on this journey towards a strong future for our sport. Qatar is demonstrating its ambition on the world stage and that makes QIPCO an excellent partner for British Champions Series.
“I’m very pleased that the series could attract new and substantial investment into British racing so quickly. Now we look forward to concentrating on the horses, jockeys and fans while hosting a truly fantastic first QIPCO British Champions Series, uniting and celebrating the very best aspects of our sport.”
The QIPCO British Champions Series launches at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course on Saturday 30 April 2011 with the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, classified as the best three-year-old race in the world in 2010, and culminates with the richest event in this country’s horseracing history, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 15 October 2011. In all the series contains no less than seven of the world’s top 12 races based on the official international classifications.
The series, which is worth circa £13m in prize money, will feature 35 Flat races split into five championship categories: Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares, staged at ten of the UK’s leading racecourses: Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Goodwood, Haydock Park, Newbury, Newmarket’s July Course, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, Sandown Park and York.