Highclere Castle Gin Announced As New Sponsor Of The Carnarvon Stakes

The award-winning gin, launched in 2019, will feature prominently at May’s Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day at Newbury Racecourse

Newbury Racecourse is pleased to announce Highclere Castle Gin as the new sponsor of the Listed Carnarvon Stakes.  The Highclere Castle Gin Carnarvon Stakes will be run over six furlongs for a total prize fund of £65,000, eligible for horses three-years of age. The Listed contest is the second race on Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day, taking place on Saturday 18th May.

Highclere Castle, located just seven miles from Newbury Racecourse, is the home of The Earl & Countess of Carnarvon. Owned by the Carnarvon family since 1679, in recent years the Castle is recognised by many as “Downton Abbey” having featured as the fictional home of the Crawley family in the popular Julian Fellowes television drama.

The Carnarvon family have a long association with the Racecourse reflected through the Listed contest on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day featuring the family name. Having founded Highclere Stud, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon was a keen supporter of the creation of Newbury Racecourse which opened in 1905 and was one of the first stewards. The 7th Earl as Lord Porchester bred and owned many winners including Lyric Fantasy, the winner of the 1992 renewal of the Super Sprint. Highclere Castle Gin have supported Newbury over the last two years and the gin is served behind all bars on race days at Newbury whilst also being able to be purchased from the Highclere Castle Gin website, Amazon and local Waitrose stores.  Botanicals from the gardens of Highclere Castle inspire the flavour of the gin which was launched back in 2019. The acclaimed Highclere Estate oats are a unique feature creating unparallel complexity, smoothness and unique flavour of the gin.

The Highclere Castle Gin Carnarvon Stakes is a competitive early-season race for the three-year-old sprinters with many going on to contest the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot the following month. Last year’s renewal was won by the highly talented sprinter, Shaquille, who went on to dual Group 1 glory in both the Commonwealth Cup and July Cup. The roll of honour features top class sprinters including Creative Force who won the race in 2021 before going on to win the Jersey Stakes and the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes. Despite being beaten in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes, many Group 1 winning sprinters have emerged from the race in recent seasons including Oxted, Eqtidaar, Jungle Cat and Lethal Force.

Lord Carnarvon said: “The Carnarvon family and Highclere Estate have a long association with Newbury Racecourse with my Great Grandfather the 5th Earl being a founder shareholder in 1904. My father was a passionate owner breeder and a great supporter of Newbury Racecourse being Chairman from 1985 to 1998.  Highclere Castle Gin is proud to sponsor the Carnarvon Stakes as we appreciate the link to the terroir of Highclere with our oats which have also powered so many of the winners of this race.”

Lara Johnston, Sponsorship Manager at Newbury Racecourse added: “We are delighted to announce Highclere Castle Gin as the new sponsor of the Carnarvon Stakes. As a local family with a rich history and association with Newbury Racecourse, it is very fitting that Highclere Castle Gin is sponsoring the race named after the family who have resided at Highclere Estate since the 17th century. Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day remains the feature race meeting of our flat season here at Newbury and we look forward to another competitive renewal of the Highclere Castle Gin Carnarvon Stakes in May.”

Tickets – priced from just £30 – are available to purchase for Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day by clicking here while Under 18s go free.