Betfair waiting in wings to snap up Ladbrokes World Hurdle sponsorship

• Grade One Cheltenham Festival race set to be up for grabs
• Bookies likely to rule themselves out by not signing up as ABP

The chance that Ladbrokes will be able to maintain its decade-long association with the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival seemed increasingly remote on Wednesday, with no sign that the betting firm will reconsider its refusal to seek Authorised Betting Partner status from the British Horseracing Authority. Ladbrokes’ latest year-to-year deal to sponsor the race has now lapsed and the World Hurdle is without an official sponsor, as persistent rumours link Betfair, in particular, to a long-term deal to back the race.

Related: Bookmakers warned to pay up or face being barred from sponsorship

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