Championship Horse Racing today announced the launch of its new flat horse racing initiative – Racing League – 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. Unveiled over the coming months, 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 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 12 teams will compete across 36 handicap races (rated 0-90), each worth £50,000.
The Racing League’s inaugural meeting will be held on Thursday 16 July 2020. Each meeting’s six races will be contested over distances 5F – 1½M, with all 36 races broadcast live on Sky Sports.
- Racing League’s 12 teams will each select one of their 30 horses to contest each of the 36 races
- Winners of each race will win 25 points for their team; second place collects 18 points; third place earns 15 points, with points available for finishing in the top 10 places out of 12
- £50,000 prize money for each race distributed as per 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 owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and a fan ambassador, picked from the public at random at the start of the competition
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: “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 will be good for the sport.”
Matthew Imi, CEO, 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.”