McNeile stands down from Cheltenham role
PETER McNEILE, Cheltenham racecourse's beleaguered head of sponsorship, on Wednesday announced he has stood down from his role.
McNeile came under fire last month when he publicly stated parent company Jockey Club Racecourses is seeking a single blue-chip sponsor outside of the betting industry for its three big races; the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, William Hill King George VI Chase and Betfair Chase.
The news was received poorly by William Hill, chief executive Ralph Topping accusing JCR of an "upstairs downstairs syndrome,", while Cheltenham's managing director Ian Renton attempted to distance himself from McNeile's comments in the immediate aftermath.
In a statement released by JCR, McNeile said: "After 25 years, I have decided to stand down from my role at Cheltenham. My departure is amicable and given the intense and recent media interest, I believe it is the right thing to do.
"I look forward to taking on my next challenge with the same passion and dedication I have shown to Jockey Club Racecourses at the home of jump racing."
Renton thanked McNeile for his efforts in the statement, and said: " I am sad to lose Peter and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for the significant and positive contribution he has made to the growth and success of Cheltenham at the heart of jump racing. We wish him all the very best for the future and hope to welcome him back many times as a racing fan."