By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Leading jockeys, including Frankie Dettori and Hollie Doyle, are set to join a new Racing League, which will debut this Summer.
This will be the horse racing equivalent of the English Premier Football League and will have ‘transfer windows’.
Racing in team colours, the teams will consist of two to four trainers working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses.
The teams will compete in 36 12-runner handicap races, worth for the winners at least £50,000 each, with horses rated 0-90 and run over distances between 5 and 12 furlongs.
Each of the jockeys will be allowed to ride in a maximum of 18 of the 36 races.
All meetings will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and will take place as follows:
Newcastle – 29 July
Doncaster – 5 August
Lingfield – 12 August
Royal Windsor – 19 August
Lingfield – 26 August
Newcastle – 2 September
Hayley Turner, the leading English professional female jockey, in welcoming this new initiative, stated as follows:
“It’s great that the racing industry has decided to try something a bit different [and] I know the jockeys and the trainers are all really excited.”
“I think it will help to capture a non-racing audience.”
Let us see if she is right!