Plans un­veiled for ‘The Se­ries’

Western Daily Press - - Horse Racing - PRESS AS­SO­CI­A­TION RE­PORTERS

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.

Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Im­ages

Rac­ing in a team is al­ready seen in the Sher­garCup

Jockey Lizzie Kelly has a fine strike rate at Ex­eter

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