New sponsor for mares novices hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham’s Dawn Run Novices’ Hurdle will be run under the National Hunt Breeders supported by Tattersalls banner this year after a sponsorship deal was agreed.

Previously backed solely by Trull House Stud, that breeder has teamed up with Shade Oak Stud, Upton Viva Stud, James and Jean Potter Ltd, Martyn Meade Racing and Overbury Stud to sponsor the extended two-mile Grade Two heat.

The race has been dominated by Willie Mullins, with last year’s victor Laurina one of three winners in as many runnings for the trainer.

Robert Waley-Cohen of Upton Viva Stud and chairman of Cheltenham said: “Upton Viva Stud is delighted to support the National Hunt Breeders supported by Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

“It is important for mare owners to have a target at the Festival to aspire to win as this has a beneficial impact for breeders both financially and for the breed as a whole.

“The best mares are those who have proven their ability on the racecourse and this race provides a valuable opportunity.”

There are 40 entries for this year’s renewal, with Mullins counting Sancta Simona among his 13 possibles while the unbeaten Honeysuckle and Punchestown Listed scorer Sinoria could both line up for Henry de Bromhead.

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