PROPERTY developer Sean Mulryan is to again sponsor a race at the Cheltenham Festival after an eight-year gap.
Ballymore to sponsorship at The Festival by supporting the race it used to back after an eight-year gap.
The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle re-emerges after being staged as the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle since 2010.
The Grade 1 two-mile five furlong novices' hurdle, the first race on the second day of The Festival at Cheltenham, was sponsored by Ballymore, together with the main races leading up to it, for three years between 2007 and 2009.
Then Neptune Investment Management took over and was the loyal backer for eight runnings up to and including this year's renewal in March, which was won by the David Bass-ridden Willoughby Court, trained by Ben Pauling for owners Paul and Clare Rooney, who beat the favourite Neon Wolf by a head.
The illustrious roll of honour for the race, founded in 1971, includes Faugheen (2014), The New One (2013), Hardy Eustace (2003), Istabraq (1997), Danoli (1994), The West Awake (1987), Ten Plus (1986), Sabin Du Loir (1983), Gaye Chance (1981) and Davy Lad (1975).
Ballymore is a property investment and development company with vast and varied experience, acknowledged as pioneers of some of Europe's largest regeneration projects, 100% owned and managed by Sean Mulryan and his family, who founded the business in Ireland in 1982. Mulryan is an avid fan of jump racing.
As well as sponsoring the Cheltenham Festival contest, which will be run on Ladies' Day, Wednesday, March 14th in 2018, Ballymore is again backing the series of races beforehand.
These contests are staged at Cheltenham on Friday, October 27th, Cheltenham on Friday, November 17th, Sandown Park on Friday, December 8th, Cheltenham on Monday, January 1st, 2018; Warwick on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 and Cheltenham on Saturday, January 27th, 2018.
Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships, Jockey Club Racecourses South West, said: "Ballymore has agreed to sponsor the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at The Festival for the next three years and we welcome them back as one of our supporters.
"I would also like to thank Neptune Investment Management and its founder Robin Geffen for supporting the race between 2010 and 2017."
Sean Mulryan commented: "The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the jump racing season each year and it is tremendous news that Ballymore is once again sponsoring there.
"The ambition has always been to return to the sponsorship if possible and this has now been achieved with the help of Cheltenham Racecourse."
The 2018 Cheltenham Festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from Tuesday, March 13th to Friday, March 16th and tickets are on sale through www.cheltenham.co.uk