Plans unveiled for ‘The Series’
CHAMPIONSHIP Horse Racing yesterday announced the introduction of a series of races to take place across eight courses in Britain and Ireland.
The dynamic new addition to the Flat racing calendar will see branded teams compete in 48 races, with each worth more than £100,000 in prize money.
The eight racecourses set to stage ‘The Series’ include Epsom, Goodwood, Newbury, Newmarket (July Course) and Leopardstown. Ayr, Haydock and Sandown are the other tracks set to take part.
The fixtures are proposed to take place on eight consecutive Thursday evenings between July 25 and September 12 of next year.
The meetings will be additional to to the British fixture list and still require approval from the British Horseracing Authority.
Jeremy Wray, chief executive of Championship Horse Racing, said: “Agreeing the likely racecourse schedule is a key milestone for CHR. Over the next few months we’ll be announcing the teams and the media partners who will broadcast The Series across the world.
“We’re thrilled that The Series is due to take place at such prestigious courses and that it will debut in three countries.
“They are great locations and have superb facilities for summer evening racing that promises fans something they’ve never experienced before.
“Fans will be encouraged to engage with the teams and our aim is to help tell the stories about the tens of thousands of people involved in the sport.”
Simon Bazalgette, group chief executive of The Jockey Club and chairman of Jockey Club Racecourses, which are set to stage four of the eight fixtures in The Series, said: “We’re delighted to support The Series. There are some fantastic people behind the horses in our sport and it would be brilliant to shine a light on them through this new initiative, while attracting new partners to our sport.”
Each team which will take part in The Series will comprise a racing manager, four jockeys and a squad of 30 horses.
Last year’s winner Blaklion heads a field of 18 declared for the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree tomorrow.
The nine-year-old, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, will bid to be a two-time winner like Hello Bud, who struck for that stable in 2010 and 2012. The Naunton trainer also saddles Ballyoptic.
Three of the horses Blaklion defeated 12 months ago – thirdplaced Highland Lodge, the fourth home Federici and Vieux Lion Rouge, who was seventh, renew rivalry. James Moffatt’s Highland Lodge was successful in this race in 2015, while the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge took the honours the following year.
The weights are topped by the Gordon Elliott-trained Don Poli, who will be having his first race since finishing third to Sizing John in the Irish Gold Cup at Punchestown in April 2017.
Another Elliott inmate, Noble Endeavor, is set to have his first taste of action since running into sixth place in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse that same month.
A six-strong Irish contingent is completed by Sean Doyle’s Crosshue Boy, Ross O’Sullivan’s Call It Magic, the Paul Nolan-trained Fine Theatre and Dare To Endeavour from Pat Griffin’s yard.
Others in a competitive event include Colin Tizzard’s dual Topham Chase winner Ultragold, Paul Nicholls’ double Badger Ales Trophy scorer Present Man and the Warren Greatrex-trained Kim Muir victor Missed Approach.
Tip Two Win is being prepared for an imminent return to Doha for a tilt at the Qatar Derby later this month.
Roger Teal’s stable star enjoyed a profitable spell in the Middle East last winter, earning over £150,000 in prize-money.
Racing in a team is already seen in the ShergarCup
Jockey Lizzie Kelly has a fine strike rate at Exeter