The Emirate of Dubai has extended its partnership with Newmarket Racecourses for a further five years, adding the Dubai Cesarewitch to its racing rights portfolio.
The new agreement will see the prize fund for the race doubled to £500,000, making it the joint most valuable flat handicap in Europe.
The investment is in line with a British Racing-backed strategy to enhance the country’s entire long-distance flat racing programme in order to help to protect the ‘staying’ type of thouroughbred racehorse for the future.
The newly titled Dubai Cesarewitch forms part of October’s two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival, which will continue with the Emirate’s support as headline partner until 2022.
The Dubai July Cup is also among a wide-ranging package of commercial rights renewed in the agreement with Jockey Club Racecourses, which owns and operates both Newmarket’s Rowley Mile and July Course.
The partnership also includes initiatives designed to foster emerging young talent and interest in the racing industry, such as Dubai Future Champions Education Week in October, which aims to engage local children with the unique racing heritage of the area and sees 50 university students visit Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud headquarters in Newmarket.
Darley is the global thoroughbred stallion operation of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai.
Commenting on the new agreement, Amy Starkey, East regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “In Dubai, Newmarket has a fantastic partner to help us to achieve our ambitions in the years ahead.
“We are delighted that in extending their partnership with us for a further five years, Dubai have also added the Cesarewitch to their sponsorship portfolio.
“It is our aim for the prize fund of the Dubai Cesarewitch to climb to £1 million and for it to become one of the most anticipated and competitive races in the whole of the racing calendar.
“With its field of 34 runners, starting in Cambridgeshire and finishing in Suffolk, the Cesarewitch Handicap has a heritage that few other races can match and in recent years it has become renowned for attracting quality and established performers coming from both Flat and Jumps codes of our sport. We are excited about taking the race to another level; for owners this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete for a prize of this size.”