Cazoo steps in as last-minute sponsor for Saturday's high profile Haydock card

Haydock has reached a last-minute deal with Derby backers Cazoo to sponsor Saturday's entire seven-race fixture, which features the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes.

The Group 2 Cazoo Temple Stakes is another of five races from Haydock which will be shown live on ITV and Jockey Club Racecourses north west regional director Dickon White said that despite the added benefit of terrestrial coverage, the sponsorship market remained "pretty tough".

“There have been various discussions taking place behind the scenes but we’re pleased that we’re welcoming Cazoo who are backing the whole card,” White said.

“We’ve been in discussions with three or four people over recent weeks – the sponsorship market is pretty tough out there – and we’re delighted that Cazoo is stepping up.”

Despite the difficulties in finding a sponsor for the card, White expects Saturday's meeting to buck the recent trend and attract a “decent crowd”.

Declining attendances have been a feature of the early weeks of the turf Flat season, with Chester and York the latest meetings to report a significant decline on 2019, the last time the fixtures were staged with racegoers present.

“Looking at our advance sales figures we’re expecting a decent crowd on Saturday,” he said. “It certainly won’t be any less than 2019 numbers, which we all seem to be benchmarking against.”

York found that advance ticket sales were an inaccurate guide to final attendance as pandemic restrictions meant people were now more accustomed to getting tickets beforehand, whereas they would previously pay on the day.

But White added: “We wouldn’t have a massive walk-up crowd on this fixture, it tends to be more of a pre-book crowd. The walk-up numbers have dwindled every year, so we’re in for a decent crowd.”