The Jockey Club Cup, first run in 1873 and one of six Group races at Newmarket on Champions' Day (Saturday, October 20), will this year for the first time be sponsored by Jockey Club Estates, the Club’s property and land management company. To highlight the sponsorship, the owner of the winning horse in the £50,000 Group Three contest over two miles will have an added prize - dinner for 10 people at the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket High Street, the site of the original home of the Jockey Club.
"Although it has always been run as the Jockey Club Cup, up until now the Club has not enjoyed any direct sponsorship link to this historic race,” explained the Jockey Club’s Director of Communications, John Maxse. "Jockey Club Estates are delighted to have taken on sponsorship of the race and we thought it would be a nice touch to include a dinner at the Rooms as part of the prize, giving winning connections the chance to enjoy an excellent dinner courtesy of Jockey Club Estates and to promote the use of the Rooms at the same time."
Lisa Hancock, Newmarket Racecourses' Managing Director, said: "I am delighted that Jockey Club Estates are to sponsor the Jockey Club Cup. People may have thought that they already did, but the new arrangement is a big help to us from a financial point of view and I love the addition of dinner for ten at the Rooms. The winning owner is in for a real treat."
The Jockey Club Cup is the last major race of the British Flat season for stayers and has been won in recent years by top class horses like Persian Punch, Millenary, Arctic Owl and Further Flight. It has had a commercial sponsor on only two occasions in the past - in 1997 when Portland Place Properties sponsored it for one year and last year when David Wilson Homes did the same.
It is one of two Group Three races on Champions' Day, which boasts the highest class race programme of any day in the British calendar and over £1m in prize money. The seven-race card features two Group One races (the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes and Darley Dewhurst Stakes), two Group Two races (the VC Bet Challenge Stakes and the SERIOUSQUITTERS.com Rockfel Stakes), two Group Three races (the Igloos Bentinck Stakes as well as the Jockey Club Cup) plus one of the most valuable handicaps of the year, the totesport.com Cesarewitch.