The premier Weight-For-Age championship race of Australasia, the W.S. Cox Plate, has a new naming rights sponsor with leading corporate bookmaker Ladbrokes and the Moonee Valley Racing Club striking a lucrative long-term deal. The eight-year partnership launches on August 1 2017.
“This is the biggest partnership ever announced by the Moonee Valley Racing Club and it is a huge result for our Club,” said MVRC’s CEO Michael Browell.
“We are about to embark upon one of our most exciting chapters in our 134-year history and to have a company of the calibre of Ladbrokes alongside us on the journey for the next 8 years means we will be able to reach even greater heights.”
“Through this partnership we will build towards the 100th running of the W.S. Cox Plate in 2020, whereby we will then undergo our major redevelopment where we will see a new track and grandstand constructed that will transform the racecourse into a world-class facility.”
Ladbrokes, the world’s oldest bookmaker, has been in operation since 1886 but only began its foray into Australia in 2013.
In the four years since, it has made a significant commitment to Australian sport and racing, striking partnerships with the Melbourne Racing Club, National Basketball League, Gold Coast Titans and from this year, the Brisbane Broncos and the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
“We are very proud of the mark we have been able to make in the short space of time we have been operating in Australia,” Ladbrokes Chief Executive, Jason Scott said.
“It’s Ladbrokes desire to strike partnerships with like-minded organisations who want to see their clubs prosper.”
Mr Scott believes the scale of the contract reflects the stature both Ladbrokes and the racing public hold the W.S. Cox Plate and the Moonee Valley Racing Club as a whole.
“There is a reason why the best horses and best jockeys want to ride in the Cox Plate. It is iconic, not just here, but around the world,” Scott said.
This was reflected at the recent Longines World’s Best Horse Race Awards with the 2016 W.S. Cox Plate crowned the highest rated turf horse race in the world. The reigning Cox Plate champion in Winx was also crowned the world’s highest rated turf horse and highest rated mare after her record breaking 8 length win in the 2016 edition of the race.
In 2017 Winx will aim to join the legendary Kington Town (1980 – 82) and become just the second horse in the race’s 97-year history to win three consecutive W.S. Cox Plates. The MVRC will also continue its strategy to invite the world’s leading international middle distance horses to make it a truly global contest.
Ladbrokes will acquire the naming rights to the Cox Plate and Manikato Stakes, the two jewels in the Cox Plate Carnival crown. The two-day event offers 24 hours of unmissable sporting action, with the partnership securing the future of the carnival which embarks upon its sixth year.
With 16 night racing meetings scheduled for the 2017/18 season, Ladbrokes have also extended the partnership to other properties, with Friday night racing at The Valley from August 1, 2017, to be known as Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights. The MVRC was the first metropolitan club to flick the switch on racing under lights in 1998 and has since staged 20 seasons of night racing boasting over $9 million in prizemoney and 15 black-type races each season.
The partnership also includes sponsoring the popular 55 Second Challenge. This unique race series will enter its eighth season, with the 955 metre sprint heats exclusive to each and every night race meeting at The Valley.
In summary, highlights of the deal include the naming rights to:
- Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival
- Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate
- Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes
- Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights
- Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge
The Valley racecourse is sure to be a favourite destination for Ladbrokes punters with plans for a Ladbrokes Lounge to open its doors in a prominent position down the home straight, creating a fun and festive environment for members of the corporate bookmaker.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club would like to thank William Hill for their unwavering support of the Cox Plate and the MVRC over the past five years in what has been an exciting period of growth for the Club.