A five-figure sponsorship agreement has been negotiated with the Greyhound Grand National by Bernard Marantelli, CEO and Founder of Colossus Bets.
It comes after Central Park organiser Roger Cearns revealed that after a proposed sponsor backed out due to the possibility of the competition being staged behind doors, the event this year was in danger of not being scheduled.
Cearns, commenting on the sponsorship deal, said: “Our thanks go to Bernard and Colossus Bets for stepping in at what really is the eleventh hour to allow us to stage the Grand National. We are the home of hurdling here at Central Park, but this year’s event was in real danger.
“It’s been an unprecedented year and the pressures on track owners are immense. We had actively sought a backer for the Grand National and we’re delighted Colossus Bets are back here after a successful Kent Silver Salver sponsorship.”
“I love greyhound racing – my family have been taking bets on it for 50 years – and I want to see it thrive,” added Marantelli. “We’ve got a number of plans and hopes for the sport and this is the latest one. Hurdles racing can be fun and a real spectacle.”
The Colossus Bets 2020 Grand National heats commence on 25 October, with the November 1 semi-finals and the November 8 £7,500 final. The races will all be on RPGTV.
Ricky Holloway, a Grand National-winning trainer three times, said: “This is fantastic news – Colossus Bets have not only saved the Grand National, they’ve saved hurdles racing. A hurdling scene without a Grand National does not bear thinking about.
“I like to think I helped in a small way to get this deal over the line – and was happy to see a tweak in the prize-money,” said Holloway. “The winner’s prize-money has been pegged back from £8K to £7,500, but the runners-up prize upped to £1,500.
“Hopefully this increases competition across the board and should ensure a good entry. It’s advertised for 36 hurdlers, but Central Park are happy to go to 24 with the first three qualifying should numbers come up short. We’ll see, but it’s great news nevertheless.”