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Cheltenham racecourse today announced a prize money increase of nearly 11 per cent on last season.

There will be #3.4 million on offer this time with the Cheltenham Festival on March 13th to 15th accounting for #1,925,000. The Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup will have a total prize fund of #290,000, the Smurfit Champion Hurdle #260,000 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase #200,000.

Byrne Bros are new sponsors at Cheltenham this season.

The construction group will back the #50,000 Grade One Byrne Bros Cleeve Hurdle on January 27th.

Total sponsorship at the track now amounts to #1.28 million.

Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham`s managing director, said: 'We are delighted to announce a major prize money increase yet again.

'Cheltenham has a long-term commitment to broaden and sustain interest and investment in the sport. We aim to attract top-quality horses at the peak of their form.'