The world’s oldest Classic, the St Leger, will be sponsored by William Hill this year after a three-year deal was agreed between Arena Racing Company and the bookmaker.

The first betting company to sponsor a major race, William Hill will be the sponsor of the £700,000 Group 1 St Leger Stakes along with a feature race on each day of the four-day festival.

To date, the Leeds-based company already sponsor a number of important races throughout the Flat racing calendar. They include most notably, the Ayr Gold Cup and the Great St. Wilfrid at Ripon.

Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO, said: “William Hill is one of the best known brands in betting – with a long history of horseracing sponsorship.

“We are delighted to sponsor the oldest classic and we will work closely with ARC to continue to build the profile and popularity of the William Hill St Leger Festival.”

Last year, the St Leger Festival drew in over 60,000 spectators, who were to witness the first Epsom-trained winner of the big race for many years.

“We are delighted William Hill have become the new sponsors of the St Leger. We really enjoy working with their team and look forward to extending this to our feature racing festival of the year,” said ARC chief executive, Martin Cruddace.

William Hill is one of the best known brands in betting

“William Hill have the brand, vision and team to help build on the success of both the four-day festival and the feature race, the St Leger, which continues to be one of the most important races in the British Racing calendar.”

‘The William Hill St Leger Festival’ will run from 13 September until Saturday 16 September and will be televised on ITV racing.