The next time punters buy a pint of John Smith’s bitter, they will have the chance to register for a share in a racehorse.

John Smith’s, a Scottish & Newcastle brand of bitter, have introduced “Smithy, The People’s Racehorse” to promote their renewed sponsorship of the Grand National and its 90 sponsored race meetings across the UK.

“The horse will be owned by our customers,” Gareth Turner, the senior brand manager for John Smith’s, told local papers.

“They will make no financial commitment other than to buy a pint and to register for one of 250,000 shares with us.”

“Smithy”, a four-year-old gelding who will be trained by Donald McCain junior at Bankhouse Stables in Cheshire, is expected to make his racing debut in January, with the aim of running at Aintree in the future.

Smithy’s owners will receive regular updates on his progress and have the opportunity to vote online about his training and the races he will be entered for.

This initiative follows the John Smith’s People’s Race, a three-year campaign offering ordinary men and women the opportunity to ride in a flat race on Grand National day, which ran with great success for three years. The People’s Race has been dropped this year.