YORK Racecourse have announced that Al Basti Equiworld Dubai will be the new sponsors of both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and the Group 2 Middleton Stakes.

The races will be staged on the middle day of the 2019 Dante Festival and, in a three-year extension of the current partnership, the Dubai-based business will add the two feature contests to the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes which is already part of its high-class sponsorship portfolio.

As an indication of their commitment to innovation, Al Basti previously agreed to back a brand new Group 3 contest on the Knavesmire.

As a consequence, the inaugural running of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Brontë Cup will be staged on Saturday when there will be £90,000 in prize money on offer to older fillies and mares over the staying distance of one mile and six furlongs.

The brand is globally recognised as the leading provider of a wide range of equine products, and this latest support will further raise that profile, as the Dante is widely recognised as the premier trial for the Investec Derby, with ten colts having previously done the York/Epsom double.

As the racing world awaits news of whether the 2018 winner of the Dante, Roaring Lion, will head to Epsom or Chantilly, this announcement draws to a close the successful partnership with Betfred.

Trainer of Roaring Lion, John Gosden, also secured the 2018 Betfred Middleton Stakes courtesy of Coronet, and the impressive filly looks likely to return to Royal Ascot where she has already tasted Group 2 success.

A strong performance in Berkshire would confirm a longer-term planned return to the Knavesmire for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on 23 August.

Racing connections at York are already familiar with Al Basti Equiworld, as the brand has backed the new Owners’ Welcome Building since it opened in 2015, as well as the main Owners and Trainers Restaurant and the Winning Connections Building.

Founder of the business, Malih Al Basti, is particularly keen to recognise the work done by both jockeys and racing staff, so the partnership continues to provide appropriate food for the jockeys and a complimentary meal for racing staff with a runner.

Summing up the partnership, Malih Al Basti said, “York Racecourse works hard to support horsemen and I share their commitment to owners, trainers, jockeys and racing staff so I was keen to back their efforts. The Dante and indeed the Middleton are races that echo around the racing world and I am proud that they will now carry our name.”

Lord Grimthorpe added his gratitude for the backing of the outgoing sponsors, adding: “Both races have benefitted from the support of Fred Done and his team."