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Sandown today announced that the 44th and final Whitbread Gold Cup will have increased prize money of #115,000, up by 15 per cent on 1999.

And a bonus offered if the winner had previously made the frame in the Martell Grand National has been doubled to #100,000.

Whitbread recently revealed they are to end their long sponsorship of Sandown's April 29th chase, whose date is to become the official end of the British jumps season.

Sandown clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said: "We want to mark the end of the jumps season in style and at the same time give the Whitbread Gold Cup a big send-off.

"The bonus makes a Whitbread victory for one of the first four in the National worth around #165,000."

Horses who would qualified for the pay-out, introduced in 1998, include Mr Frisk, who won both races in 1990, and Lean Ar Aghaidh, who went on from finishing third at Aintree to win the Whitbread in 1987.

A new #25,000-added three-mile novice chase has been added to the mixed card, which also features races such as the Thresher Classic Trial and Gordon Richards Stakes on the Flat.