Magners has signed a four-year deal to become the headline sponsor of the Cheltenham Festival and it will lend its name to the meeting’s biggest race.

The four-day March Festival is the most important event in the National Hunt calendar and it always attracts the finest trainers, jockeys and owners in the business.

It is teeming with Group 1 contests, from the Champion Hurdle to the Stayers’ Hurdle, but the standout event is the £600,000 Gold Cup.

It is the most prestigious race of the year, and it has been seized by legends such as Arkle, Golden Miller, Kauto Star, Desert Orchid, Mill House and Best Mate over the years.

Millions tune in each year to watch this three and a quarter mile race is the, and from 2019 to 2022 it will be known as the Magners Gold Cup.

The meeting will now be known as The Festival presented by Magners in all communications and broadcasts.

Jason Ash, chief marketing officer at Magners supplier C&C Group, said: “Famous for our Irish heritage, sociability and positive view on life we are truly excited to put our name to the most prestigious jump race in Europe and partner with one of the UK’s best sporting and social occasions as a platform to engage fans and bring Magners to a global audience.”

“Given The Festival is a major occasion in the sporting calendar of racing fans across the world, especially in the UK and Ireland, we are delighted to be a part of such an iconic event.

“We see our partnership with The FestivalTM and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup as a perfect fit, providing a year-round platform to bring to life our new 100% Irish positioning to consumers in the UK and internationally.

“We look forward to working with The Jockey Club to engage horse racing fans across multiple platforms, including at The Festival, in the on- and off-trades, and via advertising, digital and social activation.”

Ian Renton, regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, which operates Cheltenham, added: “In the build-up to The Festival each year, a third of the tickets purchased are by Irish race-goers, so we feel this partnership is a great fit and we’re delighted to be working alongside a partner with such a strong Irish heritage and appeal in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

“As well as looking forward to staging the first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, 2019 will be the first time The Festival has had a presenting partner to promote the whole event to an even wider audience.”

Magners has enjoyed a strong performance in the UK of late. C&C, which also supplies Tennent’s lager, recently reported that trading since the beginning of March had been “positive across all our key markets helped by good weather and the World Cup”.