Qatar adds Goodwood to growing stable

Story highlights

  • Glorious Goodwood to be renamed Qatar Goodwood Festival
  • Move comes after Gulf State invest over $3m into horse racing meet
  • Investment labeled 'the single biggest sponsorship deal' in British racing

(CNN)It's been one of the most memorable labels in British horse racing history but to the undoubted dismay of traditionalists, Glorious Goodwood is no more.

The five days of racing will instead be known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival from 2015.
    Not content with staging the 2022 World Cup, or the 2019 World Athletics Championships, the Gulf State has now added its name to one of horse racing's most prestigious festivals.
    A 10-year deal has been signed with Goodwood Racecourse which is being described as the 'single biggest sponsorship deal ever done for the benefit of British racing.'
    "Commencing in 2015, this makes the Qatar Goodwood Festival one of the most significant and valuable meetings in the world," read a statement.
    In excess of $3m will now be invested in eight key races during the festival, taking the total prize money on offer at the festival to $7m.
    The Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes now has a total prize fund of just over $1.5m, to strengthen its status as one of the world's most valuable mile-long races.
    "I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood's position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world," said Lord March, Goodwood's owner.
    "Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horse racing in the UK." 
    Qatar already plays a significant financial role in the UK in a number of areas, owning Harrods, the iconic department store, the Shard, the UK's tallest building, and a percentage of the London Stock Exchange.
    And the sponsorship of Goodwood adds to other existing sports-related deals, with Qatar already heavily involved with European football giants Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain among others.
    "Thanks to the wise guidance of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar supports sport all over the world," said Hamad Al Attiyah, President of the Qatar Equestrian Federation.
    "Goodwood is already one of the most iconic sporting festivals of the British summer season and we are delighted to be the title sponsor over the five days.
    "The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar's further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland.
    "We look forward to working with Lord March and the team at Goodwood and taking the racing festival to a world class racing platform."
    The first Qatar Goodwood Festival will start on July 28 2015.