Innovative pool betting firm Colossus Bets, has agreed a five-figure sponsorship deal with the Greyhound Grand National.

Bernard Marantelli, CEO and Founder of the betting operator stepped in after Central Park promoter Roger Cearns admitted that this year’s event was in danger of not being staged after an intended sponsor pulled out due to the threat of the competition being staged behind doors.

Cearns gave his thanks to the firm for stepping in at ‘the eleventh hour’ to allow him to stage the Grand National. “We are the home of hurdling here at Central Park, but this year’s event was in real danger.

“It’s been an unprecedented year and the pressures on track owners are immense. We had actively sought a backer for the Grand National and we’re delighted Colossus Bets are back here after a successful Kent Silver Salver sponsorship.”

“I love greyhound racing – my family have been taking bets on it for 50 years – and I want to see it thrive,” added Marantelli. “We’ve got a number of plans and hopes for the sport and this is the latest one. Hurdles racing can be fun and a real spectacle.”

The heats of the Colossus Bets 2020 Grand National begin on 25 October, with the semi-finals on November 1 and £7,500 final on November 8. All races will be on RPGTV.

Ricky Holloway, three times a Grand National-winning trainer, said: “This is fantastic news – Colossus Bets have not only saved the Grand National, they’ve saved hurdles racing. A hurdling scene without a Grand National does not bear thinking about.

“I like to think I helped in a small way to get this deal over the line – and was happy to see a tweak in the prize-money,” said Holloway. “The winner’s prize-money has been pegged back from £8K to £7,500, but the runners-up prize upped to £1,500.

“Hopefully this increases competition across the board and should ensure a good entry. It’s advertised for 36 hurdlers, but Central Park are happy to go to 24 with the first three qualifying should numbers come up short. We’ll see, but it’s great news nevertheless.”