Ladbrokes confirmed as new sponsors for saved Sprint Cup
LADBROKES on Sunday said they would have been happy to put high-street rivalry aside to accommodate the Betfred Sprint Cup on Ladbrokes St Leger day this Saturday, before taking on the race sponsorship themselves.
The firm's PR director Mike Dillon contacted Haydock to offer Betfred the opportunity to support a rescheduled version at Doncaster, but it was not taken up.
"I rang Dickon White and asked him to tell Fred Done that if he wanted to come in on Ladbrokes St Leger day we would be pleased to have him," said Dillon.
"We wanted to look at the big picture rather than be parochial. It became clear later that Fred didn't want to move and I understand and respect his decision.
"I spoke to Douglas Erskine-Crum of the Levy Board and Ian Rentonof Arena and the process came together very quickly, and is a testament to the foresight and co-operation of all parties.
"We are delighted the race has been saved. The Ladbrokes Sprint Cup will be a Group 1, worth £165,000 and, subject to confirmation from Channel 4, will be run as the race before the St Leger."
He added: "The people of Yorkshire will be licking their lips. There might not have been a better day's racing in Yorkshire since Royal Ascot at York."
Betfred were due to sponsor the whole card at Haydock on Saturday, but Done has agreed to support another Haydock raceday before the end of the Flat season.
White said: "Betfred were given first refusal, but a decision was taken not to proceed at Doncaster. They had over 200 guests coming to Haydock from all over the country and I think it would have been difficult to manoeuvre everything in a week.
"We have a great relationship with Fred Done and he has agreed to sponsor our Lester Piggott day at the end of the month, which is really positive."
The Ladbrokes Sprint Cup, which will now be worth a total of £165,000, will be run at 2.35pm on Saturday, 35 minutes before the St Leger.
Ladbrokes are obviously finding it hard to separate the main contenders and makeAfrican Rose and Utmost Respect their 4-1 joint-favourites with Corrybrough, Equiano and US Ranger all 8-1 chances.
Spokesman David William said: "Utmost Respect was our long-time ante-post favourite when the Haydock race was scheduled but all the money came for soft-ground lover African Rose.
"For now we're happy to let the punters decide which horse will go off favourite at Donny."
Ladbrokes Sprint Cup, sponsors bet: 4-1 African Rose, Utmost Respect, 8-1 Corrybrough, Equiano, US Ranger, 14-1 Astronomer Royal, Balthazaar's Gift, Diabolical, Reverence, 16-1 Ancien Regime, 25-1 Al Qasi, Asset, 33-1 Assertive, Benbaun, 40-1 bar.