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First staging of the Racing League to be staged this summer with £1.8m up for grabs




A prize fund of £1.8m will be up for grabs in the Racing League – a new competition which will be held for the first time this summer.

The new, ground-breaking flat horse racing initiative, which was launched in London earlier this week, will use a team-based league format and aims to increase levels of innovation, fan engagement and accessibility in British horse racing.

Teams consisting of two to four trainers, working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses will battle it out for an unprecedented pool of prize money, as well as an overall prize to the team that wins the inaugural Racing League.

CEO of Sky Sports Racing Matthew Imi, Sky Sports Racing presenter Alex Hammond, CEO of Arena Racing Company Martin Cruddace, CEO, 2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey Martin Dwyer and CEO of the Racing League Jeremy Wray at the launch of the Racing League at The Queen’s Club, London	Picture: Racing League/Alex Treadway photography
CEO of Sky Sports Racing Matthew Imi, Sky Sports Racing presenter Alex Hammond, CEO of Arena Racing Company Martin Cruddace, CEO, 2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey Martin Dwyer and CEO of the Racing League Jeremy Wray at the launch of the Racing League at The Queen’s Club, London Picture: Racing League/Alex Treadway photography

Held over six consecutive, action-packed evening race meetings in July and August, the Racing League will be contested at four of the UK’s leading racecourses, Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle and Royal Windsor, and features 36 handicap races, each worth £50,000.

The first meeting is set to be held on Thursday, July 16, with each meeting’s six races to be contested over distances between 5F and 1½M, and all the races will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Martin Dwyer, the 2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey, said: “I think the Racing League is a really exciting addition to the British horse racing calendar and I believe the fans will welcome it.

“It’s a positive step for the racing industry to take, and the increase in prize money at handicap-level racing can only be good for the sport.”

Jamie Osborne, the six-time Royal Ascot-winning trainer, added: “Spectator-wise, horse racing is a sporting giant in the UK, and I personally think it deserves to be acknowledge on the same level as sports, such as rugby, cricket and football.

“The way to do that is to implement ways of opening it up to new and untapped audiences, so I wholeheartedly support what everyone at the Racing League is aiming to achieve.”

Each of the Racing League’s 12 teams will select one of their 30 horses to contest each of the 36 races, with the with points to be awarded to the top 10 finishers in each race.

Whips will be carried for safety and correction purposes only under BHA ‘hands and heels’ conditions.