Ballymore resumes backing of Cheltenham novice hurdle
A familiar name will return for the second day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival following the news that Ballymore Properties will be resuming their support for the opening 2m5f novice hurdle, won last season by Willoughby Court.
The Grade 1 event was run between 2007 and 2009 under the banner of Ballymore Properties, the firm founded by developer Sean Mulryan, since when it has been staged as the Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle.
The company will also support a series of feeder races at Cheltenham, Sandown and Warwick.
"The ambition has always been to return to the sponsorship if possible and this has now been achieved with the help of Cheltenham Racecourse," said Mulryan.
When the Irish banking and property sector suffered a huge financial hit at the end of the last decade, Mulryan was forced to abandon both race sponsorship and ownership and their return to Cheltenham caps a sizeable turnaround in the company's fortunes.
Ballymore Properties were reported to have exited from NAMA in December 2016, having repaid more than €3.2 million in gross debt to the Irish State's so called 'bad bank.'
The company returned to race sponsorship in April with the backing of the €100,000 handicap hurdle run on the final day of the Punchestown festival.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com