British bookmaker Coral has secured its first horse racing sponsorship deal in Ireland through a three-year partnership with Leopardstown Racecourse.

Coral will sponsor the entire seven race card on Sunday January 17th, 2016, featuring the €100,000 Hurdle and the €100,000 Handicap Chase.

It marks the first time Coral has sponsored a horse racing event in Ireland and follows the recent award of an Irish betting licence and authorization from the Irish government to take bets in Ireland.

“We are thrilled to be sponsoring one of Leopardstown’s biggest race meetings of the year, including one of the most prestigious and valuable hurdle races staged in Ireland,” said Simon Clare, Coral PR director. “We will also be offering a new €100,000 bonus to any horse that can win the Hurdle and go on to land the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, a big race double that was famously achieved by Xenophon who landed a major gamble in the process back in 2003.

“This is Coral’s first sponsorship venture in Irish horse racing and it gives us the perfect platform to promote the Coral name, our passion for horse racing, and the benefits of our online and mobile betting service to Irish racing fans and punters.”

Coral has signed up to sponsor the Hurdle Meeting for an initial period of three years, adding to the operator’s sponsorship portfolio which features some of the longest-standing race sponsorships in the UK, including the Coral Welsh Grand National since 1973, the Coral-Eclipse since 1976, and the Coral Cup (and before that the Coral Golden Hurdle) at the Cheltenham Festival since 1974.

“We are delighted to welcome Coral to Leopardstown,” said Pat Keogh, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse. “The two feature races on the day are both steeped in tradition.

“The Hurdle is always an extremely competitive race and the bonus with the Coral Cup at Cheltenham adds a new dimension that will be very popular. The Chase is one of our oldest races which the legendary Arkle won three times.”

“We look forward to working with Coral to make this a very special day at Leopardstown. We hope that this is the start of a very long relationship with Coral and thank them for their support of Leopardstown,” added Keogh.