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Ryanair Sponsorship Extended for a Further Five Years at The Festival 19/10/07

Cheltenham this week announced that Ryanair, the world’s largest scheduled airline and official airline of The Festival, has agreed to extend its sponsorship of the newly promoted Grade One Ryanair Chase for a further five years to 2012.

War Of Attrition
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War Of Attrition

The Ryanair Chase was one of the new races which came into existence when The Festival extended to four days in 2005 and gives an opportunity for horses that excel over two miles and five furlongs to have a top-class conditions race to aim at. In its first three years, the race has fulfilled that role perfectly, with all three winners being highly rated horses that had excelled in handicaps over the same distance at Cheltenham previously. By any measure, Thisthatandtother in 2005, Fondmort in 2006 and Taranis in 2007 were worthy winners.

Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair (and owner of 2006 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, War Of Attrition) said: “I’m delighted with the progress that The Ryanair Chase has made in its short history from a brand new race three years ago, to one of the highlights of The Festival now. We at Ryanair have a great rapport with the excellent team at Cheltenham and are proud to be one of the major sponsors in March, so I was keen to mark the upgrading of The Ryanair Chase to Grade One by agreeing to cement our relationship for a further five years.”

Cheltenham’s Director of Sponsorship, Peter McNeile, added: “Naturally we’re very grateful to Michael and the team at Ryanair for demonstrating their commitment to what is now one of the most important races at The Festival in this way.”

Ryanair also sponsors the food for stable staff at the Festival and provides prizes of free flights in a daily draw for them, which is a great incentive for those at the sharp end of Jump racing.

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