Is Lyndoch Living's controversial sponsorship of the Grand Annual Steeplechase coming to an end?
The Warrnambool Racing Club has cast the net far and wide as it searches for a three-year sponsorship deal for the jewel in the crown of the May Racing Carnival.
Lyndoch Living has sponsored the prestigious race for the past six years and is still in the mix for naming rights but WRC chief executive officer Tom O'Connor said there had been interest from other parties.
"The club is doing its due diligence regarding the sponsorship of the Grand Annual Steeplechase," O'Connor said.
"We've gone out to the open market to see what interest there is to sponsor our feature race at the May carnival after Lyndoch Living's three-year contract expired. The process is being driven by the club.
"We've had open and honest discussions with Lyndoch Living about what we're doing with the Grand Annual Steeplechase sponsorship as they have sponsored the race through two three-year deals and they have been fully supportive of our process.
"Lyndoch Living have indicated they still want to be involved but we are also having discussions with other corporate businesses."
Lyndoch Living chairman Sue Cassidy said there had been no discussions at board level regarding continuing the sponsorship deal.
O'Connor said the status of the Grand Annual Steeplechase had increased over the past three years.
"The Grand Annual is our jewel in the crown," he said.
"It gets Australian and international coverage. We're looking to do a three-year deal.
"We feel we give tremendous exposure to our Grand Annual sponsor and just want to make sure we're getting the money the great race deserves back in sponsorship for the club.
"We're hoping to announce our Grand Annual Steeplechase sponsor in August."
The 2023 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase will be run on May 4.
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