ONLINE gambling firm bet365 is to extend its sponsorship of Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase for a further three years.
The announcement came as Yorkshire-trained horses won the first four races on the opening day of this year’s fixture.
The Charlie Hall Chase has been sponsored by bet365 since 2003 and managing director Steve Ibberson said: “We are very pleased to continue with our support of Wetherby’s premier race meeting for a further three years. The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase represents the first major test of the Jump season for the country’s leading staying chasers.
“There have been seen some truly outstanding horses triumph in this race since we started sponsoring back in 2003 and, once again, this season looks set to be yet another top quality renewal of this prestigious race.”
Racecourse chief executive Jonjo Sanderson added: “Wetherby has enjoyed a fantastic relationship with bet365 over the last 12 years. We very much look forward to working together up to 2017 and beyond.”
Middleham trainer Micky Hammond’s Pay The King was a narrow winner of yesterday’s opener under Joe Colliver before the Mick Easterby-trained Lightening Rod took the handicap hurdle courtesy of amateur rider Harry Bannister.
Easterby, the ageless Great Habton trainer, completed a quickfire double when 20-1 outsider Shadows Lengthen was a comfortable winner of the bet365 Handicap Chase under veteran jockey Brian Harding who remains as committed and determined as he was in 1998 when partnering the late, great One Man to Queen Mother Champion Chase glory at Cheltenham.
However, the feature Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle went to form as the Danny Cook-ridden odds-on favourite Full Day prevailed in a tight finish for Malton’s dual-purpose trainer Brian Ellison by half a length from the outsider Magic Magnolia.