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New sponsors step in for Grade 1 3m novice chase at Cheltenham Festival

Allaho leads the field down to the water fence in last season's RSA Chase
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New sponsors have been found for the Grade 1 3m novice chase on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, with investment firm Brown Advisory and racing group Merriebelle Stable taking over from RSA.

The race had been without a sponsor for the first time since 1974 when insurance giant RSA ended its association with the contest last autumn, but Cheltenham has been able to find a backer with a little over a month to go until the start of this year’s festival.

Having formerly backed the Grade 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, the groups have switched their backing to the novice chase as part of a new three-year deal, with the race being run as the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

Ian Renton, regional managing director for the Jockey Club, owner of Cheltenham, said: “We are very grateful to Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable for their continued and generous support at Cheltenham.

“Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable have been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing our association with this exciting new sponsorship deal.”

Champ: successful in the race last year

The two groups share an association with US multi-millionaire Charles Noell, who is a director at Brown Advisory and a co-owner with fellow American John Moores of Merriebelle Stable, which enjoyed success with Moon King at Newcastle on Monday.

Mike Hankin, president and chief executive of Brown Advisory, said: “Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable are thrilled and honoured to assume sponsorship of this historic race. In these challenging and uncertain times, we believe it’s important to reaffirm our support for an industry upon which many livelihoods and communities depend.”

An announcement on a backer for the Plate, which is now without a sponsor, is due “in the next few days”, according to a Jockey Club spokesperson.

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In these challenging and uncertain times, we believe it's important to reaffirm our support for the industry
E.W. Terms