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Craig Porter 8th Apr 2009 - 17:11

William Hill named new King George sponsor

Bookmaking giants William Hill were today revealed as the new sponsors of the Winter Festival at Kempton Park racecourse in a four-year deal which features sponsorship of the showpiece King George VI Chase.

The newly named William Hill Winter Festival will incorporate naming rights to the two-day gala, in addition to sponsorship of some of National Hunt’s most famous races in the Christmas Hurdle, Desert Orchid Chase, and Feltham Chase.

The agreement between the Sunbury Racecourse, and one of the best known names in the gambling industry secures support for the popular Christmas occasion until the end of 2012 in a deal worth £5 million.

Kempton’s Managing Director Amy Starkey, said: ‘’We are delighted to have reached an agreement on a four-year sponsorship for Kempton Park’s flagship jumps meeting of the year. The William Hill Winter Festival will further strengthen the racecourse, and we will now work with Hills to enhance what is a superb advertisement for our sport.’’

The new Winter Festival sponsorship further develops the relationship between Kempton and William Hill who recently sponsored the Lanzarote Hurdle Day, The Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, and two of the track’s premier all-weather races – The Roseberry and Masaka Stakes in March.

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, commented: ’’The sponsorship of this historic and prestigious event affords William Hill the opportunity to enhance our portfolio of great betting races for the general public, whilst strengthening our loyalty to racing during a difficult financial period.

"We are proud to be associated with a race synonymous with so many famous racehorses. Amongst them; the unforgettable Desert Orchid, Arkle himself, and triple King George winner Kauto Star.

"We are committed to working with Kempton Park to enhance the Winter Festival meeting and look forward to working with this dynamic team throughout the next four years.’’

The 2009 running of the William Hill King George could see Kauto Star bid to emulate the legendary Desert Orchid and become only the second horse in history to win the three-mile chase for the fourth time.

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