Gibraltar-based online gaming operator Stan James has finalised a deal to sponsor the Champion Hurdle for the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, and agreed to back two more hurdling trials to be held in the run-up to the festival.

The operator has become the lead sponsor of the Greatwood Hurdle and the Morgania Hurdle at Ireland’s Punchetown Race Course in Kildare, both due to take place on November 17th.

Stan James now sponsors a total of five events, comprising the Road to Cheltenham series which precedes the festival, taking place at Cheltenham, Punchetown and the Haydock Park course on Merseyside.

Having first sponsored a Champion Hurdle race at the 2011 edition of the festival, Stan James will sponsor a two-mile race, held on Champion Day, the first day of the event.

Stan James chief executive Denis Kelly said he was “delighted” to sponsor the Road to Cheltenham series, adding he was “particularly pleased” to have sealed deals for the Greatwood and Morgania Hurdles.

“The latter sees the Road To Cheltenham head over the Irish Sea for the first time with reigning champion Hurricane Fly set to face Triumph Hurdle hero Our Conor at Punchestown in a mouth-watering contest,” he added.
Cheltenham Racecourse’s head of sponsorship Peter McNeile added that it was “great news” the operator had decided renewed its contract.

“I am sure therefore that Stan James will find this partnership with all the racecourses incredibly rewarding,” McNeile said.