Newbury Racecourse announced on Monday the introduction of a new £100,000 stayers' handicap sponsored by JLT and named the JLT Cup.
The extended two-mile contest (2m 110y-approx 3200m) for three-year-olds and upwards takes place on Saturday, July 21, and forms part of Weatherbys Super Sprint Day, which will now have prize money of over £500,000. There is also racing at Newbury on Friday, July 20, which means £614,000 is on offer across the two-day mid-summer meeting.
The JLT Cup is being introduced in response to industry demand for an enhanced programme for stayers, supported by the Newbury board of directors, and is also welcomed by bookmakers. The £100,000 prize fund includes a £30,000 contribution from the British Horseracing Authority's Development Fund.
This is a major sponsorship, agreed for five years, on the Flat for the JLT Group, which also has a significant Jump racing portfolio that includes the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Ascot's JLT Long Walk Hurdle and the JLT Melling Chase at Aintree.
Jonathan Palmer-Brown of JLT Group said: "JLT has enjoyed a successful collaboration with the horseracing industry for many years and recognises the important part Newbury Racecourse plays in this.
"The JLT Cup is a significant sponsorship agreement and demonstrates JLT's continuing support of the horseracing industry and the significant contribution it makes to the UK economy as a whole."
Julian Thick, Chief Executive of Newbury Racecourse, declared: "In response to the appetite from horsemen and the industry for an enhanced stayers' programme, we are delighted to introduce the new JLT Cup and would like to thank JLT Group for its backing and commitment.
"This new race has been on our wish list for a while, so it is great that we have been able play a part in making it happen."
Simon Clare of bookmakers Ladbrokes Coral added: "The JLT Cup is a very welcome addition to an already strong card.
"A valuable handicap and one for the stayers greatly enhances Weatherbys Super Sprint Day at Newbury and means that our punters can really get stuck into a good betting race."
Henry Candy, who trains not far from Newbury Racecourse north of Lambourn, also voiced his support for the new race.
He commented: "The new two-mile £100k race on July 21 is a wonderful addition to the stayers' programme, fitting in nicely between the Northumberland Plate and the Ebor.
"Congratulations to Newbury for staging this exciting new race."
The JLT Cup closes for entries at noon on Monday, July 16 and can have up to 18 runners.