Goodwood Racecourse today announced a new ten-year partnership with Qatar, which is the single biggest sponsorship deal ever done for the benefit of British racing.
Commencing in 2015, this makes the Qatar Goodwood Festival – that is, Glorious Goodwood – one of the most significant and valuable meetings in the world.
The partnership results in over £2m being invested into prize money for eight key races during the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2015 as well as a commitment to increase this year-on-year. Total prize money on offer for the week now totals £4.5m, with Qatar once again demonstrating their passion and support for British racing.
The Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, has a total prize fund of £1m cementing its position as one of the most valuable mile races in the world.
The Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the feature race on the Saturday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is now worth £600,000, making it the most significant mid-summer race for fillies.
Each Group 2 feature race, the Qatar Lennox Stakes (Tuesday), the Qatar Goodwood Cup (Thursday) and the Qatar King George Stakes (Friday) are now worth £300,000, recognising their recent records for attracting some of the best horses at their respective distances.
In addition, Qatar has guaranteed that if any current Group 2 race achieves Group 1 status, the prize money will rise to at least £500,000.
Other races to benefit from increased prize money are the two Group 2 races for two-year-olds, the Qatar Vintage Stakes and the Qatar Richmond Stakes, each of which will run for £200,000, supporting their status as the proving grounds for future champions.
The Qatar Stewards’ Cup is the headline handicap of the week with prize money now totalling £250,000 and, as part of this uplift, the consolation race rises to £75,000.
This is a perfect example of how strongly Goodwood and Qatar feel about supporting racing at all levels.
The Qatar Sussex Stakes, the Qatar Goodwood Cup and the Qatar Nassau Stakes will remain part of the QIPCO British Champion Series.
The inaugural Qatar Goodwood Festival will take place from Tuesday, July 28, to Saturday, August 1, 2015.
Lord March, owner of Goodwood, said: “I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood’s position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world.
“Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horseracing in the UK.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank QIPCO for their continued support through our key races in the QIPCO British Champion series. This remains important to me and to the success of racing at Goodwood.”
Hamad Al Attiyah, president of the Qatar Equestrian Federation, said: “Thanks to the wise guidance of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar supports sport all over the world.
“Goodwood is already one of the most iconic sporting festivals of the British summer season and we are delighted to be the title sponsor over the five days.
“The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar’s further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize-money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland.
“We look forward to working with Lord March and the team at Goodwood and taking the racing festival to a world class racing platform.”
Races with upgraded prize money for 2015 at the Qatar Goodwood Festival:
Tuesday, 28th July 2015 - The Qatar Lennox Stakes, Group 2, 7f £300,000
Wednesday, 29th July 2015 – The Qatar Vintage Stakes, Group 2, 7f £200,000
Wednesday, 29th July 2015 - The Qatar Sussex Stakes, Group 1, 1m £1m
Thursday, 30th 2015 – The Qatar Richmond Stakes, Group 2, 6f £200,000
Thursday, 30th July 2015 – The Qatar Goodwood Cup, Group 2, 2m £300,000
Friday, 31st July 2015 – The Qatar King George Stakes, Group 2, 5f £300,000
Saturday, 1st August 2015 – The Qatar Nassau Stakes, Group 1, 1m2f £600,000
Saturday, 1st August 2015 – The Qatar Stewards’ Cup (Handicap), 6f £250,000
* There will be no race run at the Qatar Goodwood Festival worth less than £20,000.