‘A Positive Step’: Britain Unveils Team-Based Horse Racing League

Championship Horse Racing is delighted to announce the launch of its new, ground-breaking flat horse racing initiative – Racing League – unveiled today at a gathering of industry figures and press in London. The team-based League format will bring increased levels of innovation, fan engagement and accessibility to British horse racing. Teams consisting of 2-4 trainers working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses, will battle it out for an unprecedented £1.8m in prize money, as well as an overall prize to the team that wins the Racing League.

Held over six consecutive, action-packed evening race meetings in July and August 2020, the Racing League will be contested at four of the UK’s leading racecourses – Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle and Royal Windsor. Racing in bespoke team colours, the Racing League’s 12 teams will compete across 36 handicap races (rated 0-90), each worth £50,000.

The Racing League’s inaugural meeting is set to be held on Thursday 16 July 2020. Each race meeting’s six races will be contested over distances between 5F – 1½M, with all 36 races broadcast live on Sky Sports.

The Racing League Format

  • Each of the Racing League’s 12 teams will select one of their 30 horses to contest each of the 36 races*
  • The winner of each race will win 25 points for their team; second place will pick up 18 points; third place will earn 15 points; and points are available for finishing in the top 10 places out of 12
  • The £50,000 prize money for each race will be distributed as per existing BHA rules
  • The team with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the Racing League champion
  • The winning team will earn a bonus prize shared between participating owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and a team ambassador, who will be picked from the public at random at the start of the competition**

*Each of the 12 teams’ squads of 30 horses will be declared three weeks in advance of the start of the Racing League

2003 Epsom Oaks-winning trainer, Andrew Balding, said: “I look forward to being involved in the inaugural Racing League and welcome the innovation it brings to our sport.”

2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey, Martin Dwyer, commented: “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.”

Six-time Royal Ascot-winning trainer, Jamie Osborne, commented: “Spectator-wise, horse racing is a sporting giant in the UK, and I personally think it deserves to be acknowledged 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.”

Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of Sky Sports Racing, added: “In recent years Sky Sports has been instrumental in helping mainstream sports grow their fan bases exponentially, appealing to a broad audience of sports enthusiasts and innovating in the process. We are confident that we can achieve something similar with horse racing, so partnering with an exciting new initiative like the Racing League makes absolute sense. If the Racing League and Sky Sports Racing’s coverage encourages the person who goes racing once a year to go again, then I would consider that a success.”

  • Six new Racing League summer evening race meetings sanctioned by BHA 
  • The Racing League guarantees £1.8m prize money – each of the 26 races worth £50,000
  • First Racing League race meeting to be held on Thursday 16 July 2020
  • All 36 races to be broadcast live on Sky Sports
  • Team activation zones on the infield will give fans unparalleled accessibility to jockeys, trainers and team ambassadors
  • Whip to be carried for safety and correction purposes only under BHA ‘hands and heels’ conditions

Racing League ‘Super Fans’ #WinTheLeague

As part of an innovative social media campaign, the Racing League’s 12 teams and respective squads, including their jockeys, trainers, owners, horses and racing colours will be unveiled over the coming months. The Racing League will also announce how 12 ‘super fans’ will be selected by ballot to represent each team throughout the competition. One of these lucky fans will win big, if their team wins the league.

To find out more about the Racing League, visit www.racingleague.uk

The post ‘A Positive Step’: Britain Unveils Team-Based Horse Racing League appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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