Betfred Boss Fred Done has described himself as “immensely proud” to be announced as the new sponsor of The Oaks and The Derby at Epsom Downs.
In a three-year deal, Betfred will also support two other races across the two days of The Derby meeting, which in 2023 takes place on Friday 2nd June and Saturday 3rd June.
Founded by Fred Done with a single betting shop in Salford in 1967 – between the victories of two great Derby winners in Royal Palace and Sir Ivor – Betfred has grown to become the largest independent bookmaker on the high street in the UK with 1,400 shops. It remains family owned, with Fred Done as Chairman of the Betfred Group. As well as having a significant online and mobile presence, it has expanded globally into South Africa and currently operates in 10 states in the USA.
A longstanding supporter of British racing for more than 50 years, Betfred was the sport’s biggest sponsor between 2011 and 2018, when their sponsorships included The Cheltenham Gold Cup (2012 – 2015) the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock Park, Newmarket’s “Autumn Double” – the Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch and York’s Ebor Handicap among their racing portfolio of over 600 races. Betfred is also currently the official betting partner of Ascot racecourse and Royal Ascot.
Betfred maintains a varied sporting sponsorship portfolio including official Partner of Manchester United and Matchroom Boxing, title sponsors of Rugby League’s Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Super Leagues, plus the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cups, golf’s Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at The Belfry and the World Matchplay Darts and until recently the long-time sponsor of the World Snooker Championship.
Betfred Boss Fred Done said: “I am immensely proud to sponsor The Derby and The Oaks. For me, The Derby remains the greatest Flat race in the world.
“When you look at some of the horses and characters that have won this great race, Sea-Bird, Mill Reef, Nijinsky, Sir Gordon Richards, Lester Piggott, and Frankie Dettori, it has an amazing history and I am delighted to become a part of it for at least the next three years.”
Nevin Truesdale, Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, said: “We’re delighted that Betfred have agreed to be the sponsor of The Derby and The Oaks.
“Betfred’s support of British racing over many years has been superb and we’re proud to be working with Fred Done and his team on its next chapter, to promote these two iconic races on the first weekend in June.”
Amy Starkey, Managing Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, added: “This is an exceptional deal for British horseracing. This partnership represents a substantial investment in the world’s most famous Flat race and we are very grateful to Betfred for their generous support.
“As a bookmaker with a long and established history in horseracing and numerous other sports, I’ve worked with Fred and the team at Betfred for more than 20 years and know how deeply committed they are to British racing.
“Betting has been integral to The Derby since its inception in 1780, when even the name of the race was decided on a coin toss. The odds of the runners and especially the winners have always been a key part of the history and development of the world’s greatest Flat race.
“Our teams have a shared passion for the rich heritage and history of The Derby and The Oaks and with 1,400 shops across the UK I’m excited that Betfred will be able to help us promote these prestigious races on high streets up and down the country.”
Betfred’s sponsorship of the Epsom Downs Classics and two other races – which are yet to be determined over the two days of The Derby in June – is the first in a number of partnership announcements for the fixture due in the coming weeks.