The Prestbury Cup
Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that online betting group BetBright is sponsoring the Prestbury Cup, the competition held to celebrate the rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland at The Festival.
Friendly rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland has always been one of the charms of The Festival each year as fans watch their equine heroes go head-to-head over the four days in March.
Introduced for the first time in 2014, the BetBright Cup includes every race at The Festival and is won when either nation has 14 winners or more from the 27 races (excluding the St Patrick’s Derby) between Tuesday, 10th March and Friday, 13th March.
In a battle for national pride, the trainers and jockeys from the winning country will be presented with the BetBright Cup which is sealed with some hallowed Cheltenham turf.
In 2014, it was Great Britain narrowly on top with 15 wins to Ireland’s 12, while in 2013 Ireland had 14 winners, one more than Britain.
BetBright make it 1.16 for Great Britain to claim the 2015 BetBright Cup, with Ireland at 4.33 to upset the home team and take the spoils. A draw is 26/1. However, with strong entries from both sides of the Irish Sea, it is set to be another thrilling competition with both countries hoping to be named champion in March.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of 2014 Stan James Champion Hurdle winner, Jezki, commented: “With Jezki holding an entry for us on the opening day at The Festival in the Champion Hurdle, we very much hope to lend a helping hand towards dismissing the sponsor’s current price of 4.33 for Ireland to win the BetBright Cup.
“We look forward to another exciting challenge with Ireland hopefully coming out on top.”
Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins added: “We are obviously hoping for a very strong start at this year’s Festival with a good team of novices over hurdles and fences as well as Faugheen and Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle on the first day.
“I would like nothing more than to prove the sponsors wrong in their price of 4.33 for Ireland to win the BetBright Cup and take the Cheltenham turf back to Ireland.”
British champion trainer Paul Nicholls said: “I personally think that the BetBright Cup will be much closer than 1.16 and 4.33. I guess the first day of The Festival will be the deciding factor as Willie Mullins looks to have some very strong favourites.”
Brian Farrell, BetBright’s Marketing Director, commented: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the BetBright Cup across all four days of The Festival and expect to see an exciting challenge between Great Britain and Ireland.
“The friendly competition has always been a characteristic of The Festival.”