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Team talkSPORT crowned inaugural Racing League champions

Team talkSPORT were crowned champions after the William Hill Racing League reached a thrilling conclusion at Newcastle on Thursday.

Twelve teams did battle in the inaugural running of a competition that got under way at Gosforth Park six weeks ago – and had since taken in further Thursday evening fixtures at Doncaster, Windsor and two at Lingfield before returning to the north east for the finale.

Every race – restricted to a maximum of 12 runners – has carried a total value of £50,000, with 25 points awarded to the winner down to one point for the 10th-placed horse.

In addition to the £1.8million in prize-money up for grabs, a further £200,000 in bonuses was on offer, with £150,000 going to the triumphant Team talkSPORT, who topped the final table on 368.5 points.

Rupert Bell, who managed the winning team along with fellow broadcaster Alan Brazil, said: “I think it’s been fantastic.

“I’m the Pep Guardiola of the racing manager world – Alan Brazil had absolutely nothing to do with it!

“I’ve been at every meeting and well done to the trainers and all their staff. Fair play to them.”

Rupert’s brother Michael Bell was was one of four trainers who saddled runners for the Team talkSPORT along with Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Roger Varian. Between them, the Newmarket handlers will divide a bonus of £60,000.

Bell added: “You can’t knock the stable staff getting £30,000 – that’s fantastic. There’ll be one hell of a party at Fitzroy House (Michael Bell’s yard) – I better get invited!”

The team’s riders, led by Jack Mitchell, will split £30,000, as will the yard staff of the trainers and the owners whose horses made up the winning squad.

Jack Mitchell celebrates with his trophy
Jack Mitchell celebrates with his trophy (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mitchell was also the leading rider over the course of the competition, with a final night double aboard the Fanshawe-trained pair of Second Slip (6-4 favourite) and Bonneval (13-8 favourite) – who was involved in a dead-heat – taking him to six winners overall.

As well as splitting the £30,000 pot for the team’s riders, as top jockey Mitchell (276.5 points) earned a further £25,000.

He said: “It’s amazing – I’ve enjoyed every minute.

“It’s something new and great for these horses for this sort of prize-money.

“It’s not like F1 or the Premier League – the team table is changing all the time and it was exciting right until the end.

“I hope it’s got a few more people involved. I think the lads in the weighing room are trying to work out how many beers I can buy – there’s been beer orders, gin orders and champagne orders!

“I’ve had a lot great support from the trainers of the horses I’ve ridden.”

Strike Red was a winner for eToro Racing
Strike Red was a winner for eToro Racing (Mike Egerton/PA)

After a late charge, eToro Racing filled the runner-up spot in the team competition on 359.5 points.

Tim Easterby’s Delgrey Boy (11-1) dead-heated with Bonneval, while Strike Red was a clear-cut winner for Richard Fahey, who said: “I think it’s been good. It’s something different and we’ve had great fun with Tim and the team.

“I think a lot of people have enjoyed it and as the owner (of Strike Red) just said, he’s won over £50,000 with this horse here now, which he wouldn’t have done before.”

Team ThoroughBid (351 points), who began the night at the top of the league, ultimately had to make do with minor honours in third after drawing a blank in terms of winners.

Team Swish struck gold with the Clive Cox-trained and Saffie Osborne-ridden Tregony (14-1) and were best of the rest in fourth.

Despite two winners on the night courtesy of David O’Meara’s Firmament (20-1) and Paul Midgley’s Saluti (9-1) – both ridden by Paul Mulrennan – Team Arena finished 10th of 12 on 248 points.

Saluti has shone in the Racing League
Saluti has shone in the Racing League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Team manager Chris Dixon said: “Our weakness has been not being able to have enough runners, never mind winners.

“There’s things that they need to tweak to make the competition better. I get that some people don’t buy into the team concept, but I look at it from the point of view of owners and the prize-money is great.

“Firmament has been a great horse, but he’s not going to win that sort of money anywhere else anymore.

“And from a punting point of view, 10- and 12-runner races that are competitive is quite appealing when you spend a lot of your time looking at five- and six-runner races.”

Hayley Turner’s tally of 231 points saw her finish second on the jockeys’ table and land £15,000, with third-placed Saffie Osborne scooping £10,000.

Sir Anthony McCoy was in attendance at the Racing League
Sir Anthony McCoy was in attendance at the Racing League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Among those in attendance were 20-times champion National Hunt jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, who feels the competition has been a success.

He said: “I think it’s been very good for racing.

“Most importantly, it’s brought money into the sport that wouldn’t have been there before. That’s what it all comes down to in the end.

“I think it’s been a really good initiative. Hopefully it will continue and the next one will be better.

“Anything that can get different viewers and people talking about horse racing is a good thing.”

Turner eyeing top jockey title as Racing League heads for Newcastle finale

Hayley Turner has another coveted title in her sights as leader of the William Hill Racing League jockeys’ table – but admits she will be looking over her shoulder at the chasing pack on the final night of the inaugural competition.

Turner, of course, is no stranger to success in team events – as the all-time leading rider in the history of Ascot’s Shergar Cup and recently recipient of the permanent trophy for that famous annual event.

She would therefore be an appropriate first winner of the Racing League’s equivalent prize, and has a favourite’s chance as joint leader alongside the absent Louis Steward on 207 points.

Turner will be leading the charge at Newcastle on Thursday for Team ThoroughBid – who are just four points clear of their closest rivals Goat Racing.

She has three rides for Andrew Balding and another for Richard Hannon, and a seven-point cushion ahead of Team talkSPORT’s Jack Mitchell – with Goat Racing’s reserve rider Steward unable to further his claims, because he is serving a riding ban.

The threat posed by Mitchell and a clutch of others such as Saffie Osborne is significant, however, as Turner acknowledges.

“It’s still a bit open – because I think Jack Mitchell’s not far behind me, and Martin Dwyer and Saffie (Osborne),” she said.

“I think they’ve all got good rides, so I’m not over-confident of keeping my head in front.”

Hayley Turner is no stranger to success in team events
Hayley Turner is no stranger to success in team events (Steven Paston/PA)

There are 25 points on offer to the winner of each of the six races through the card.

Turner is optimistic of adding to her tally with her four mounts, and is also hoping ThoroughBid can stay in front.

“They’ve all got chances, so that’s good,” she added.

“We’ve had a good few weeks (at ThoroughBid), and I know that Sean (Levey) has a couple of good rides for Richard (Hannon) as well.

“It’s tight, though. It’s not a given going into the last one.

“It’s always a bit of fun. It’s nice to do something a bit different – so yes, it would be good (to win), and I’m glad the competition has gone down well with everyone.”

Saffie Osborne has enjoyed a fine time of things in the Racing League
Saffie Osborne has enjoyed a fine time of things in the Racing League (Nigel French/PA)

Turner’s evening begins with Balding’s Winterwatch in the opening race over an extended mile and a half, and she also rides Scampi and Fox Premier for the Kingsclere trainer before relying on Hannon’s Kool Moe Dee in the last.

Winterwatch is an unexposed and improving three-year-old.

Turner said: “I think Josh (Bryan) has been riding him, and he’s done a good job on him at home as well.

“I don’t know (much) about the horse, but I’ll have a chat with him. He’s done nothing wrong so far.”

She expects Newcastle’s stiffer track to suit Scampi better than Lingfield last time – when they finished third together – and also senses good chances with Fox Premier and Kool Moe Dee.

She said of the former: “He ran well last time, staying on. He’s always in with a shout, and he’s a very genuine and consistent horse.”

As for Kool Moe Dee, Turner added: “He was unlucky last time at Lingfield.

“He didn’t get the breaks when he needed them. He’s run a couple of good races – he’s not the most straightforward horse to ride, but you wouldn’t rule him out altogether.”

Team talkSPORT's Jack Mitchell is hot on the heels of Hayley Turner
Team talkSPORT’s Jack Mitchell is hot on the heels of Hayley Turner (Tim Goode/PA)

Mitchell has a notably strong book of rides, and is still full of hope for both his title challenge and that of talkSPORT – who are currently more than 35 points adrift of the top two, in third of 12.

He is relishing the challenge, and told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s going to be competitive stuff.

“It’s obviously very tight at the top of the jockeys’ table – and even the team table can change very quickly, so I’m hoping talkSPORT have a good team to go to war with.”

On Steward’s absence, he added: “It’s sad for him. Obviously, Louis has done brilliantly throughout the whole series – and Goat Racing have had a good team to go forward with.

“There’s enough points on offer. I’ve got six (rides), I think Saffie’s got six, (and) Hayley’s got four – so there’s plenty of chances.”

The leading rider at the end of the competition will take home a £25,000 bonus, with £15,000 to the second and £10,000 to the third-placed jockey.

Goat double keeps pressure on Racing League leaders ThoroughBid

Goat Racing struck at the double on the penultimate evening of the William Hill Racing League at Lingfield to set up a grand finale with leaders Team ThoroughBid at Newcastle next week.

Victories for Billhilly and Red October, both ridden by the team’s reserve rider Louis Steward, kept Newmarket trainers Charlie Fellowes, Hugo Palmer, Tom Clover and George Scott within four points of ThoroughBid – who lead on 321.

Billhilly won for a second time in the competition, with a dazzling display in the William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Racing League R28 Handicap.

Successful on the all-weather track two weeks ago, Fellowes’ four-year-old repeated the trick on the turf.

Billhilly (11-2) led over a furlong out and swept away for a convincing four-and-three-quarter-length victory.

Steward told Sky Sports Racing: “I’m delighted for the horse, and delighted for Charlie and the team, everyone at home and the owners.

“They’ve done such a good job with this horse, just to revive his career. It’s so good to see, and great to be on his back today.”

Red October gave Goat Racing and Steward a double when hanging on to take the concluding William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League R30 Handicap.

The 4-1 chance hit the front in the straight, and prevailed by a neck from Cozone.

Steward said: “He half-stumbled coming out of the gates, and I actually had a bit of a lump in my throat and thought ‘how am I going to recover from this?

“But he did – and ever since that win at Leicester (last month), he’s done nothing but stay consistent. It’s so good to see, with these quirky horses, with a bit of an attitude.

“He dug deep for me, and he was very tough towards the end there.

“I’m delighted. I only filled in as a sub, but I think I can now be called supersub!

“It’s good to play a big part in this, and great to see the team doing well.”

Team ThoroughBid remain just in front thanks largely to Typhoon Ten (11-1), who strode home in the William Hill Double Your Odds Racing League R27 Handicap.

Sean Levey made a race-winning move when he kicked on two furlongs out. The top weight, trained by Richard Hannon, then pulled away to cross the line three lengths clear of Ajrad.

Levey said: “He travelled well, to be fair, surprisingly well.

“He’s always been a handful, this horse. But it seems like running every week has absolutely crowned him, made a man of him.

“He gave me the best ride he ever has today. He hacked down to the start, relaxed, and he was very professional throughout the race as a result.

“So he’s definitely learning, and going the right way.”

Steward’s double saw him climb up the jockeys’ table into joint first place with Hayley Turner, on 207 points.

Jack Mitchell is third on 200 points after winning on the Michael Bell-trained Natural Path for Team TalkSport in the William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League R26 Handicap.

The 100-30 joint-favourite got a dream run through on the rail to take the lead and maintain the gallop to score by two lengths.

Danny Muscutt came in for a winning spare ride when guiding Anythingtoday (10-1) home in the William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League R29 Handicap.

Replacing the injured Nicola Currie, Muscutt brought the George Boughey-trained seven-year-old with a well-timed run to score for Team Racehorse Lotto.

EToro Racing got on the scoreboard through Richard Fahey’s Show Me Show Me (10-1) in the opening five-furlong William Hill Free Or Four Racing League R25 Handicap, in the hands of Paddy Mathers.

Racing Insights, 26th August 2021

A good day for RI at Newbury this afternoon, as the overnight 9/2 Lezardrieux won by a head from chief danger Embour in a 21/1 forecast. I thought the winner's stablemate Restless Endeavour might just miss out on the places, but as the horse I'd ranked third became a non-runner, my 1-2-3 came in. The tricast paid £112.48, but I didn't back it, hope some of you did, though.

Now to Thursday, where feature of the day, is free access to the Instant Expert tab for ALL readers for ALL races, including of course, the following 'races of the day'...

  • 1.45 Chelmsford
  • 2.30 Ffos Las
  • 4.50 Tipperary
  • 5.10 Lingfield
  • 5.32 Carlisle

The best of those would appear to be the opener of the fifth day of the Racing League aka the 5.10 Lingfield, a 10-runner, Class 3, 5f sprint for 3yo+ horses on Good ground. As ever, it's a decent pot at £25,770 and here are the contenders...

On recent results alone (which don't account for class/distance etc) Peerless, Shamshon, Electric Love and The Princes Poet look the ones to watch and the latter is the only LTO winner in the race. Show Me Show Me is the only one to have raced at a higher level last time around, but Peerless, Grandfather Tom, The Princes Poet and Electric Love all step up from Class 4, whilst Shamshon ran at Class 5 LTO.

All ten runners have previously scored over this minimum trip and Peerless has done it here at Lingfield (two starts ago on his only previous visit). Grandfather Tom hasn't raced for over nine months but aside from Peerless at nine weeks, the rest have been seen in the last month or so. Bottom weight here carries 19lbs less than top weight after jockey claims and whilst Son and Sannie is 14pts clear of his nearest rival on our SR figures, the next six runners only have a 13pt spread.

The Instant Expert tab reiterates the fact that all ten have won at this trip, but also illustrates the different in success ranging from Son and Sannie's 1 from 13 up to Electric Love's 2 from 2...

IE doesn't shine too good a light on Son and Shannie or Kool Moe Dee, but the top two on the card, Leodis Dream and Peerless catch the eye.

In these 5f sprints on good or slightly quicker ground here at Lingfield, those drawn lowest (particularly stalls 1 to 3) have fared best...

...which is good for the likes of Shamshon, Show Me Show Me and Leodis Dream. As you'd expect from these short dashes, it pays to set the pace or get as close to it as you can...

...so the following pace/draw heatmap won't really come as a surprise...

So, if any of our low drawn trip are pacemakers, they'd stand a great chance here. The bulk of the pace in this race looks like it might well come from stalls 3 and 4...

...but there's no out and out pace horse here. Five runners have a single "4" in recent runs, but stalls 3, 4 and 6 all have at least 3 scores of 3 or higher, suggesting the race should suit the likes of Leodis Dream, Grandfather Tom and The Princes Poet. Our pace/draw heatmap certainly backs up the claims of the first two of that trio too...

Summary

Using the tools alone, there's only one horse that I'd be interested in from a win perspective and that's Leodis Dream. He has been ticking boxes all the way along and was only beaten by a little more than half a length at this class/trip/mark at the Windsor Racing League meeting last week defying a 14/1 SP. He'll wear a tongue strap here and that could just make the difference and at 7/1, he's worth backing in my eyes.

Peerless is probably next best, course and distance winner two starts ago on his only visit to this track and he's 2 from 4 this season (having ended 2020 with a win and two runner-up berths), likes quicker ground and is 3 from 7 at the trip. He was a little unlucky to do down by a short head LTO having been forced wide and 5lb claimer Saffie Osbourne seems to get on well with him. He is however 7/2, so no E/W bet there and I suspect Son and Sannie might just grab the last spot in the frame. He won off a mark of 78 last year but struggled once he went up in the weights. That mark has nice come down and he almost capitalised at York recently when only beaten by a neck at 12/1. He's considerably shorter than that now at 5/1, so no E/W play there either , I'm afraid.

Some bookies will pay four places, but I think there's not much between the rest of the field. The only double digit odds horse I'd be remotely interested in would be the bottom weight Kool Moe Dee. he's only carrying 8-8, his yard do well here and his jockey does well for this trainer, but at 10/1 I can take it or leave it.

Team ThoroughBid on top in Racing League

Team ThoroughBid took a narrow lead in the William Hill Racing League after the fourth week of the six-meeting series.

They had just the one winner on the card, courtesy of Quickstep Lady in race two, but picked up further crucial points in other races to end the evening on top with 245 points.

Hayley Turner steered the Andrew Balding-trained filly home to earn the 25 points and she now heads the jockeys’ table.

“It was a strong gallop and she ground it out really well,” she told Sky Sports Racing.

“She goes so well at home and looks a million dollars so it was nice it paid off today.”

Team Swish led at the start of play and added 18 points to their tally when Fernando Rah was runner-up in the opening contest.

That went to Newmarket Red’s Autumn Flight (12-1), from Robert Cowell’s yard, who prevailed by half a length in the hands of Robert Havlin.

However, Team Swish finished the night in fourth place on 231 points, with Goat Racing second on 242 and Team talkSPORT third on 232.

Louis Steward riding Via Serendipity
Louis Steward riding Via Serendipity (Steven Paston/PA)

Goat Racing had their winner with Via Serendipity, who came with a strong run to win race four over a mile.

Louis Steward gave Charlie Fellowes’ seven-year-old a patient ride to head long-time leader Hieronymous.

“I’ve been watching all the races and I was a bit worried as my instructions were to switch him off, but Charlie was right – he knows the horse inside out. When the gaps came he picked up like a nice horse,” said Steward.

“One smooth run down the middle here helps, especially on a hold-up horse. We did that and it paid off.”

Dark Lion (7-2) came from off the pace to snatch the spoils for Team talkSPORT in race three over a mile in the hands of Jack Mitchell.

Dark Lion struck under Jack Mitchell
Dark Lion struck under Jack Mitchell (Steven Paston/PA)

Roger Varian’s charge was produced with a rattling run to grab Air To Air close home to score by a neck.

Champagne Piaff (2-1 favourite) was the toast of Team BullionVault when winning race five in great style.

The Gary Moore-trained three-year-old stayed on strongly under Hector Crouch to score nicely from Barenboim.

Remulate Racing had their first winner of the competition when Sword Beach (11-1) struck in race six in the hands of Georgia Dobie for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton.

Autism in Racing day at Doncaster delights organisers

The first ever designated autism-friendly raceday has been hailed a success as Autism in Racing gear up for the continuation of their pilot scheme.

The project was started by racing broadcaster and raceday presenter Bobby Beevers, who was diagnosed with autism earlier this year after his daughter Sophia began displaying behaviours associated with the condition.

The dual diagnosis inspired Beevers to collaborate with the British Horseracing Authority and launch Autism in Racing, a group assembled to heighten awareness of the condition and ensure that racing is as supportive and inclusive as possible to those who are autistic.

The project is financially supported by the Racing Foundation and launched with its first fixture at Doncaster on August 5, a meeting that formed part of the inaugural William Hill Racing League.

Those attending could access designated spaces both indoors and outdoors at the meeting, with a sensory room also present due to the calming effect they have been shown to have on those who may find certain situations overwhelming or anxiety-inducing.

“It went really, really well, it was fantastic,” said Beevers.

“It was the first time a racecourse has ever had an autism-friendly day, my family were there and other families as well and the response was absolutely brilliant.

“We had a debrief the following day and we were so happy with the feedback we received, the families were just having a really good night and enjoying the racing.

“We set out what we intended to do, to give families the option to come racing in a safe and supportive environment, which is what happened.

“What we did at Doncaster was we had the family enclosure to ourselves, where we had a mobile sensory room, which was very interactive.

“There were loads of different activities and we had the Silver Patriarch bar as well, where families and parents could get tea and coffee.”

Beevers now has five further autism-friendly meetings to look forward to, where similar provisions will be made to make the experience as welcoming as possible.

“Phase one, which is this year, we’ve got six dates – two days at Doncaster, two days at Musselburgh and two days at Haydock as well,” he said.

“Going forward into phase two, we’re planning that now and there are a lot of things in the pipeline.”

Beevers was also the force behind a Lambourn stable visit arranged for the members of the Arborfield Autism Sunday Club.

“I have a really good relationship with Carly Jones, who is an autism advocate and she runs the Arborfield Autism Sunday Club,” he explained.

“I told her about the project and she said to me in that conversation that the girls that attend the club, they really like animals.

“I said that I would arrange some stable visits for them, which is what we did with Jamie Snowden, and they went to Dominic Ffrench Davis’ as well, they thought it was absolutely brilliant being able to walk around the stable yards.

“With the success of this so far, we need to do more, we are just building up relationships with different groups and organisations.

“It will be brilliant take it further in the future.”

Team Swish lead the way in Racing League at halfway stage

Team Swish sit at the top of the William Hill Racing League after the series’ third fixture took place on Lingfield’s all-weather track.

The Attorney gave the team their first win of the evening when taking the seven-furlong race under Adam Kirby, with trainer Charlie Hills then gaining a second victory later on the card when Menai Bridge was a winner under Saffie Osborne.

The team have now tallied 188 points and are therefore 10 points clear of second-placed Team ThoroughBid.

Osborne leads the individual rider rankings as a result of her performance and has racked up 132 points in total so far, one in front of Jack Mitchell.

Saffie Osborne is revelling in the Racing League
Saffie Osborne is revelling in the Racing League (John Walton/PA)

“We are smashing it tonight,” Team Swish racing manager Rosie Tapner told Sky Sports Racing.

“I’m going to go over the top here because it’s so exciting, two winners and we are flying above the leaderboard, it’s great!

“I have ridden both horses, I can’t take credit for them but I’m going to tonight!

“They’re such lovely horses, I am so thrilled and Saffie must be as well.

“She has done amazingly, she’s just absolutely flown and we’ve loved having her.

Adam Kirby got The Attorney home for Team Swish
Adam Kirby got The Attorney home for Team Swish (John Walton/PA)

“We can give it over to Kieran Shoemark and Adam Kirby as well, we’ve got a great team.

“I’m hoping we can keep on flying up and if we dip down, we’ll give others a chance and then throw it back at Newcastle.”

Team ThoroughBid had Hayley Turner gaining a second series victory, this time courtesy of Richard Hannon’s Typhoon Ten who was triumphant by a short head in the six-furlong race.

Team talkSPORT enjoyed a winner with Roger Varian’s Lydford, who was steered to victory by Mitchell as the well-backed 6-4 favourite and lifted his team into fifth place.

Lydford (left) was a well-backed winner
Lydford (left) was a well-backed winner (John Walton/PA)

Goat Racing also had a triumph on the evening and are now third thanks to Louis Stewards’ performance aboard Charlie Fellowes’ Billhilly.

Marco Ghiani was the victim of a heavy fall in the second race when his saddle slipped and he was unshipped from Stuart Williams’ Papa Stour in the closing stages of the contest.

Thankfully the rider was not seriously harmed and was seen getting to the feet on the track, but did not take up his one remaining ride on the card.

Dettori backing as Racing League hots up

Frankie Dettori has hailed the Racing League as “a great idea” after his first taste of the concept at Doncaster.

Dettori travelled to Town Moor on Thursday evening for three rides as part of the Newmarket Red team, but found success eluded him in the second meeting of the series, doing best in the opening race when third aboard Autumn Flight.

Despite not getting a winner on the board, Dettori still banked 18 points after his efforts and welcomed the introduction of the Racing League to the fixture list.

“The initiative and idea for the William Hill Racing League came along two or three years ago and when they approached me to take part I thought it was a good idea,” he said.

The second week of the Racing League proved a popular one at Doncaster
The second week of the Racing League proved a popular one at Doncaster (PA)

“It’s something different that will hopefully attract younger audiences, especially with the team concept.

“It’s started off well and looks to already be a success.

“It’s six Thursdays, 36 races, so it’s dead easy to understand, it’s in the summer months, people can come out and enjoy themselves and take an interest in the Racing League teams.

“The prize-money is great and I think it is great idea.”

Newmarket Red are now seventh in the league after Team Racehorse Lotto rose to first place following a handful of placed efforts that boosted their points tally.

As a result the two teams now share favouritism with Betfair at 5-1, with second-placed Team BullionVault at 11-2 and Team ODDSBible a 7-1 chance after a Doncaster double that sees them sit third.

Frankie Dettori poses with the fellow Racing League riders at Doncaster
Frankie Dettori poses with the fellow Racing League riders at Doncaster (Nigel French/PA)

Team talkSPORT are also available at 7-1, with Team ThoroughBid and Team Ireland both at 8-1 after the latter team also enjoyed two victories on Town Moor.

Team Swish are at 9-1 following Saffie Osborne’s victory aboard Tenaya Canyon, with EToro Racing at 10-1, Goat Racing at 16-1 and Team Remulate and Team Arena both 40-1 outsiders.

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: “There was some great racing in Doncaster and the competitiveness of the League is reflected in the betting.

“Newmarket Red still head the market but are out to 5-1 from 9-4, with Team Racehorse Lotto the big movers, going from 12-1 to 5-1 joint-favourite with Newmarket Red.

“Team ODDSBible have also attracted plenty of support and are now 7-1 from 16-1.”

Racehorse Lotto on top despite doubles for Racing League opponents

Team Racehorse Lotto top the William Hill Racing League table, despite doubles for two of their rivals on the second night of action at Doncaster.

Racehorse Lotto were unable to add to their sole victory at Newcastle last week, but have still racked up 122 points – three more than second-placed Team BullionVault.

Martin Dwyer rode a Town Moor double for Team ODDSbible, and there were also two victories for Team Ireland – leaving them third and eighth respectively, of the 12 teams.

Josephine Gordon banked her first points of the tournament for Team BullionVault, linking up with David Menuisier’s Foxtrot Sizzler to take the William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Racing League R9.

Gordon was riding the 3-1 favourite for the first time as they made all the running for a length victory from outsider Global Acclaim – on a night when three-year-olds won all six races.

“I was told that he can be a little bit free, and he was,” she said.

“I definitely couldn’t have gone any steadier!

“I think the soft ground has helped us. In time he will get further, but I don’t think there’s any rush really.

“When it does all come together I think he is going to be a smart horse.

“There are lot of good trainers (involved), and thankfully I’m light enough to do some light weights.”

Team ODDSBible made plenty of ground up the table thanks to Dwyer’s quickfire double.

His first triumph came in the William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League R10, on Martyn Meade’s Bake.

A 9-2 shot, Bake followed up his success in a Yarmouth maiden last month with another win at a rainy Town Moor – this time coming home just a short head in front of Tahitian Prince.

Dwyer’s second success came aboard Brian Meehan’s Corbulo, who started as the 7-2 joint favourite in the William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League R11 – and prevailed by half a length.

“It feels fantastic and it’s great to do it here at Doncaster,” said ODDSBible team manager Sam Sangster.

“We thought Bake was our best chance today, and it’s just great for the team and everyone involved to have a winner.”

Saffie Osborne struck in the opening William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League R7 for Team Swish – who ended the card fourth in the table.

Riding Ed Walker’s Tenaya Canyon, Osborne took up the running a furlong out before crossing the line three-quarters of a length in front at 9-2.

“It’s an idea and a concept that I’ve always liked,” the 5lb claimer said of the Racing League.

“My dad (trainer Jamie) has been a part of it, involved alongside (competition chief executive) Jeremy Wray.

“It’s nice to get a winner on the board – and it’s a really exciting concept. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Team Ireland’s much-improved showing, after their struggles at Newcastle, began with victory in the William Hill Extra Place Races Racing League R8 – with Joseph O’Brien’s Night Of Romance.

Starting as the 7-2 favourite, the filly was running for the first time since joining O’Brien from Karl Burke – and registered a half-length success under young apprentice Dylan Browne McMonagle.

“I’m delighted,” said Browne McMonagle, who was having his first ride at the track.

“We didn’t get off to a good start last week – but hopefully now we’ll start to get a couple of points on the board.

“I’m just pleased to be on the team, and to have got the first winner out of the way.”

The second leg of the Team Ireland double came in the closing William Hill Double Your Odds Racing League R12 – in which Donnacha O’Brien’s Moon Daisy (3-1 favourite) scored under Kieran O’Neill.

Racing Insights, 5th August 2021

Feature of the Day on Thursdays is free access for ALL readers to the Instant Expert tab for ALL races, including, of course, the following free races of the day...

  • 3.10 Yarmouth
  • 4.45 Leopardstown
  • 5.42 Doncaster
  • 5.57 Sandown
  • 7.30 Leopardstown
  • 7.37 Sandown

The highest class of UK race above is at the Racing League meeting in South Yorkshire, where the first on the card is the 5.42 Doncaster, a Class 3, good ground, Flat handicap over 5f for 3yo+ horses. The boosted prize money is a cool £25,770 and these are the runners who will contest it...

Form : Copper Knight, Tenaya Canyon, Autumn Flight, Saaheq, Hey Mr and Ballintoy Harbour have all won at least one of their last six outings, whilst both Irish Acclaim and Many A Star won seven races back. Ballintoy Harbour is the only LTO winner.

Class : Celsius and Hey Mr both drop down from Class 2, whilst Tenaya Canyon, Autumn Flight, Ballintoy Harbour and Saaheq all competed at Class 4 last time out.

Course/Distance : All bar Many A Star, Irish Acclaim and Equitation have won over this trip, but the latter pair have at least won here at Doncaster before, as have former course and distance winners Celsius and Saaheq.

Last run : All ten have raced in the last seven weeks with Copper Knight and Irish Acclaim having just one week's rest.

Copper Knight is one of three seven year olds in the field and he ended an 18-race/22 month losing streak when winning at York in mid-May (the previous win was also at his favoured York!). Sadly he hasn't kicked on from that win, but a drop down in class from his last turf run might help him be more competitive here.

Celsius has made the frame in half of his 16 flat runs to date, winning five times all over today's trip. He's a former course and distance winner too, but hasn't won any of eight races since a success off a mark of 85 almost ten months ago and he remains higher than that mark.

Many A Star had his best spell in his first four runs of last season, finishing 1321, but after a promising third on his new yard/seasonal debut in late April, he has been 11th of 18, last of 8 and 3rd of 6, well beaten in all three and without his claimer from LTO, is effectively up 6lbs.

Tenaya Canyon signed off 2020 with a win over 6f at Newcastle and has a win and two runner-up finishes from five starts this season. She was only beaten by a length here over course and distance last time out, despite being denied a clear run and despite stepping up in class, should go well as Saffie Osbourne's 5lb claim could be very useful.

Autumn Flight won back to back 5f handicaps at Chelmsford in the first 8 days of April and was only denied a hat-trick by a head when subsequently a runner-up here over C&D fifteen days later. He has made the frame three more times from four runs and although up a class and 1lb, he does now have the skills of Frankie Dettori in his favour.

Ballintoy Harbour won over 5f at Pontefract on her second career start almost a year ago and then went back to the shed for eight months. She reappeared at Newcastle to win again and has finished 361 since, getting home by three parts of a length at Newmarket 20 days ago. She's clearly in good nick, but a 6lb rise makes this a tougher prospect and allied to a step up in class, she'll need a career best, although after just six outings, she's the least exposed here.

Irish Acclaim is far better on the A/W (4 from 14), having yet to win from seven attempts on turf. That said, he was second last of twelve on the Tapeta at Newcastle last time out, beaten by almost 12 lengths and he's probably best left alone.

Saaheq has already won three times in 2021, admittedly from thirteen efforts and all the wins were at lower grades than today, but with 6 top three finishes from his last eleven runs, he's going well. He's back down to his last winning mark, but the step up in class might just catch him out.

Equitation has won just four of thirty-five races to date and hasn't won any of his last sixteen outings over the past eleven months. He was never involved at this class/trip last time out and even at 8lbs lower than that last win, you'd be excused for looking elsewhere.

Hey Mr is one of the least experienced here after just seven runs and with a jockey taking 3lbs off bottom mark of 79,he's well weighted here. He had a good progressive 2yo campaign finishing 3321, the last two of which were in handicap company. He was third on his seasonal bow at York in May, but has had two indifferent runs since. If he turns up, he'd have a chance off his current mark, but he hasn't turned up recently.

*

Feature of the Day is, of course, Instant Expert, a quick intuitive overview of a field's past record over a given set of circumstances, so it'd be rude not to look at it here...

...and if we're honest, that's not a great set of figures over the last two years, is it? Saaheq's record at the trip is lamentable, as is that of Copper Knight, Celsius and Autumn Flight. Saaheq has also struggled at Class 3, as have Celsius (despite a win), Many A Star and Equitation.

I think we're probably going to get more clues/pointers from place form...

...where if anything Copper Knight looks even worse. Ballintoy Harbour and Irish Acclaim don't have enough handicap experience to draw a conclusion, but Saaheq looks weak again despite making the frame at this track. Hey Mr looks interesting from a place angle, notwithstanding his recent poor form.

The Geegeez course description (here) says that Doncaster is arguably one of the fairest courses in the country, with next to no undulations providing excellent racing conditions for horses that can really gallop and eat up the ground. There’s significant draw bias at Doncaster when the ground is soft. Lower numbers tend to perform better, but on faster ground the draw has little bearing on the race outcome. So I would expect our draw stats to back that up...

Stalls 2 and 7 seem to have an anomalous amount of winners, but in terms of making the frame it just seems they've converted into wins more often. Stall seven aside, though, I'd say for E/W bettors, stalls 1 to 4 are where you'd want to be. Yet, if there's little discernible draw bias, what about the way the race is approached? Well, strangely, for a straight 5f on pretty flat ground it appears that you don't want to be a sitting target at the head of the pack and that most winners come from midfield or even further back, although racing prominently is a decent enough tactic for making the frame...

All of which means that the low-drawn mid-division runners have fared best...

...whilst for E/W purposes, any low draw will do, as will a prominent or mid-div running style...

And I can tell you that stall 1 to 4 are to be occupied by Hey Mr, Autumn Flight, Equitation and Celsius, whilst those who have shown a preference for racing in midfield or further back are Celsius, Irish Acclaim, Saaheq and Hey Mr. We can then put all our runners into those heatmaps above to give us an indicator of how they might race in stall order...

WIN :

PLACE :

The place graphic probably just highlights the fairness of the Doncaster track, as they all look to have a good chance of placing based on pace and draw, but from a win perspective, those in the lower stalls are favoured.

I should remind you that the pace/draw heatmap is just one of the tools available and isn't to be used as a definitive prediction of how they'll finish.

Summary

If we deal with the pace/draw angle first, the lower stalls are favoured and of those four, I think that Autumn Flight and Hey Mr would have better chances than the other two. I think Autumn Flight should beat Hey Mr and at 9/1 with Hills paying 4 places, he's of interest as an E/W bet, especially with the irrepressible Mr Dettori on board. I wouldn't put you off Hey Mr at 8/1 E/W, but Autumn Flight is preferred.

That said, I don't see either of them winning and for that, I think it's a close call between the 3/1 favourite Ballintoy Harbour and the 6/1 Tenaya Canyon. Ballintoy is in better form but up in class and weight after only narrowly winning last time out. Tenaya is also up in class and in decent if not quite as good nick, but with a 5lb jockey claim will carry less than 9 stones here and offers better value at the odds.

Hills' 6/1 about Tenaya Canyon might end up looking generous, so that's where I'd want to be.

 

Newmarket Red lead the way after opening night of Racing League

Team Newmarket Red top the William Hill Racing League despite drawing a blank on the opening night at Newcastle.

The six-race card was the first of six meetings which make up the inaugural running of the £1.8million competition, with a total of 12 teams taking part and every race worth £50,000 in prize-money.

Each race is restricted to 12 runners, with 25 points awarded to the winner down to one point for the 10th-placed horse.

While none of the horses trained Robert Cowell, John and Thady Gosden, Sir Mark Prescott or David Simcock managed to get their head in front at Gosforth Park, three finished second and two were third. With only one runner unplaced, Newmarket Red head to Doncaster next week leading the way on 85 points.

Second in the league are Team talkSPORT, who landed the fourth race of the evening with James Fanshawe-trained 13-8 favourite Bonneval, ridden by Jack Mitchell, and also enjoyed a second and a third from six runners.

Broadcaster Rupert Bell, who manages Team talkSPORT along with Alan Brazil, said: “There does seem to be quite a nice, friendly feeling about it, with all the teams doing their bit.

“I think it does feel right. It’s a long haul, but if the racing can stay as competitive as it is at the moment, that’s great.

“You’ve guaranteed 10 to 12 runner fields and surely the racecourses want that and the betting industry wants that.”

The victory of William Knight’s 20-1 shot Pearl Beach helped Team Racehorse Lotto end the night in third place on 63 points.

Pearl Beach (right) won the finale at Newcastle
Pearl Beach (right) won the finale at Newcastle (Tim Goode/PA)

The opening race went to 15-2 chance Saluti for Team Arena (49 points overall), trained by Paul Midgley and ridden by Paul Mulrennan.

“At the end of the day, there’s a lot of money being pumped into our sport, which can’t be anything but good,” said the jockey.

“I know there’s a few people unhappy they’ve not been able to compete this year, but it might be their time next year. It could be a different trainer or jockey that gets a chance.

“There’s a real good buzz in the weighing room tonight. All the teams and everything just makes it a bit different – it’s not your usual Thursday night at Newcastle.

“You look at this horse. In his last three races, he’s been racing for buttons and tonight he’s come here and won £25,000.”

Strike Red claimed top honours in the second race for eToro Racing (53 points). The 7-1 shot is trained by Richard Fahey and was ridden by Paddy Mathers.

The eToro Racing team is managed by William Easterby, son of trainer Tim, who also has several horses in the squad.

Easterby said: “Richard thought Strike Red had a good chance after he won last time out.

“It’s been really easy working with Richard and Robin (O’Ryan, Fahey’s assistant), but we’ll only be cheering on their horses on a Thursday night!

“I think it’s a fantastic idea. The owners are really enjoying the day and the prize-money is great.

“I think it’s great for the sport to get some publicity and to try to get more people into racing.”

Echo Red was a 5-1 winner for trainer Hugo Palmer, jockey Laura Pearson and the Goat Racing team (45 points).

Hayley Turner, no stranger to team competitions as a regular participant in Ascot’s Shergar Cup, got her name on the scoreboard by steering Andrew Balding’s Roscioli (28-1) to a narrow victory for Team ThoroughBid (47 points).

Racing Insights, 29th July 2021

This will be my last Racing Insights column for a while, Chris will be welcomed back into the hot seat tomorrow. I think I’ve flagged up some decent angles in the past couple of weeks but my personal judgement on the most interesting selections to back from those angles has largely been a bit off. Hopefully I can give a good final steer in Thursday’s race of choice. My thoughts on one of the big Saturday races each week will continue to be published each Friday afternoon.

Thursday’s free feature of the day is Instant Expert for ALL races. That’s one of the most popular features of Geegeez Gold, free to use for every race on Thursday for anyone who is a registered free user of Geegeez.

Instant Expert is a massive time saver which allows the user to check and compare each horse’s, trainer’s, jockey’s and sire’s suitability to key race conditions in just a few seconds.

The free races for free registered users on Thursday are:

3.45 Nottingham
4.35 Galway
6.15 Galway
6.55 Newcastle
7.05 Epsom

Thursday’s meeting at Newcastle is the first day of the Racing League. This event has already divided the racing community somewhat but with good prize money on offer and square 12 runner fields they could make for some decent betting opportunities. With that in mind we’ll see what the 6.55 has to offer. This is a 6f, class 3 handicap open to 3yo+.

With many races run over course and distance in similar conditions in recent years we have a decent sample of data to work with so let’s take a look at some draw and pace data before doing any form analysis.

The first graph shows PRB3 data to give an overview of what should be the favoured parts of the draw. Although higher numbers have seemingly performed more positively than low numbers over this course and distance, it seems that being drawn very high isn’t ideal, perhaps increasing the chances of being trapped on the rail. Or maybe the surface is just at its fastest just off the rail. Either way the sweet spot seems to be from about 6 or 7 to 11.

In terms of pace, the draw and pace combination heat map suggests that those drawn higher are seen to best effect played late but the runners that are drawn low to middle are best off going forward. Perhaps that allows them to get closer to the rail then being either prominent or racing in mid division. The fact that held up from middle has a good PRB of 0.55 again backs that up, it’s probably not difficult to get close to the rail from there.

The pace map for this race tells us that there are two main pace angles, one drawn low (Imperial Force) and one drawn high (Lipsink). The likes of Strike Red, Walls Of Kano, Papa Stour and Mohareb could find themselves in the poorest position (furthest from the near side rail) whilst Cash Machine, Musicality and Ivatheengine will potentially enjoy the most advantageous early positions.

Now for the runners.

Lipsink

Has shown very little in three starts for Robert Cowell and his chances seem to largely depend on a wind op and first time tongue tie doing the trick. Nice enough draw and one to watch in the market but pretty much impossible to back on his most recent form.

Musicality

Showed early promise for Roger Varian last season but form tailed off towards the end of the season. His seasonal debut was a bit more like it, whilst not good enough to win this, but he’s again gone backwards since and connections now reach for first time cheekpieces. He’s another that is worth a check in the betting but is probably impossible to back on recent form.

Mohareb

All weather specialist who won last time out at Lingfield off a mark of 84. Now up to 86 but that’s a mark he’s defied in the past. He’s done most of his winning at Lingfield but has run well enough in defeat in two attempts at this venue. He’s entitled to run his race but he might be a little too high in the weights to win from a low draw knowing his run style.

Papa Stour

Another all weather specialist and one that has dropped to a nice enough mark having been largely out or form this year. He’s 2lbs lower than his last win and returned to form last time out in first time cheekpieces when a narrowly beaten third. He made the running that day and may be an additional pace option here. That effort did come at Chelmsford, a course that suits his run style very well, and he might be a little more vulnerable here at a venue and over a trip where he has never won.

Ivatheengine

Won three in a row last summer and then had his season cut short. He’s only managed three runs in the past year (all since April) and he was below par in all of those. Connections have pinned their hopes of wind surgery in a bid to get him back to sorts and he’d be very much of interest if he is but he’s another one of these that can’t really be backed unless there is significant market support suggesting a return to form is on the cards.

Irish Acclaim

It's fair to say he’s better on artificial surfaces than turf and has a split handicap mark to prove it. He was successful over this trip at Dundalk in March and after some largely lacklustre efforts on turf he was then 2nd recently in a 7f claimer. He didn’t run up to his mark that day though and he’s probably not well handicapped on any surface currently.

Bowling Russian

Another who is better on the all weather but even on artificial surfaces he hasn’t been running to form in recent months, beaten 6 lengths at Lingfield two starts ago in February. It’s difficult to weigh up his turf return in June given he rarely runs well on the green stuff but either way he is still 2lbs higher than his last win which came at Lingfield in November. He has a bit of improving to do and will need the return of the visor to spark of form revival.

Strike Red

Likely to be amongst the favourites for this given he’s a lightly raced 3yo who won by 2 lengths last time out. That form hasn’t really worked out and he’s 6lbs higher here meaning he needs to improve again but there is every chance he does that. This is a better race than he’s previously contested and he doesn’t seem particularly well drawn so he may needs to be well ahead of his new mark to win this. One of his best pieces of form was his racecourse debut when 4th to some smart types and that was his only start on an artificial surface (came here) so he does have potential to improve switching back to this surface.

Cash Machine

Another unexposed 3yo and he’ll be making his handicap debut here after just three starts, giving us a bit of guesswork to do. On debut he was a length behind now 90 rated Popmaster, in receipt of 7lbs, so potentially ran to a mark around 80 that day. That’s certainly not bad for a racecourse debut. He seemed to run to an even better level when winning a decent Chelmsford maiden next time out, doing well to come from off the pace when the others involved in the finish were ridden much more prominently.

Then after a 60 day break he tried to give weight to some promising types in a 7f novice at Wolverhampton. He was 2nd, beaten just half a length giving 7lbs to Wizard D’Amour who ran at least to his mark of 77 on his next start. He probably didn’t improve for the step up to 7f that day but did look to stay the trip. The handicapper has probably got things about right giving him a mark of 82 but he’s capable of improving again beyond that mark given he’s had just three runs and he’s well enough drawn here. Laura Pearson’s 5lb claim could end up being the difference maker.

Royal Musketeer

Only seven runs so far, six of which have come on turf and one of which has come on the all weather. It’s worth noting that he’s so far unbeaten on artificial surfaces. He probably didn’t run above his current mark on that one all weather start though so it’s worth treating him as if he’s just as good on turf. He hasn’t been the most consistent but won a weak Ripon handicap over this distance in June and was 2nd at Haydock last time out off a 2lb lower mark, seemingly with no excuses. Could run okay again but it’s not clear where the improvement is going to come from to win a better race here.

Walls Of Kano

Had just the four runs and was well backed when winning a novice stakes on his second racecourse visit in May. He was well beaten carrying a penalty next time and didn’t improve dropped to this trip in handicap company next time out. It seems likely he’s badly handicapped but it’s not out of the question that he’s better than he’s shown to date. Might have the worst of the draw.

Imperial Force

Started the season rated 93 and ran okay in a first time visor on seasonal debut here trying to give Haveagomecca (now rated 80) 12lbs, going down by less than a length. Connections have largely kept him out of handicap company and he’s been expensive to follow and a bit regressive since. He bumped into a now 95 rated rival in a Yarmouth maiden and was trying to give that horse 3lbs on that day but he was beaten almost 7 lengths so you can’t draw too many positives from that effort.

It's a stretch to suggest he’s going to bounce back to anything like his initial mark of 95 but he seemed to run much better than his current mark of 74 when last here and is capable of being in the thick of things. He’s not very well drawn (but could nullify that by going forward) and doesn’t always look the most straight forward so a place might be on the cards but a win looks unlikely.

Summary

Not an easy puzzle to solve. The likes of Lipsink, Musicality and Ivatheengine all have at least one factor that could help them bounce back to form but they are easy to oppose on recent form.

Mohareb is one of the more solid contenders and he would have made more appeal with a higher draw but he’s only fairly handicapped now and looks more likely to find a couple too good.

Papa Stour is probably a little better at Chelmsford so the one who appeals most is Cash Machine. He’s open to the most improvement out of these and given he has yet to run in a handicap there is more scope for him to be ahead of his mark than those who have already shown their hands. He’s seemingly got pretty much everything in his favour, has run to a consistent level of form on all three starts and seems sure to go well. He won’t be a huge price but could have better claims than the fellow market fancy Strike Red.

Chris Dixon relishing role with Team Arena in new Racing League

Chris Dixon is approaching the role of joint-manager for Team Arena in the inaugural Racing League with all the professionalism you would expect from someone who has enjoyed a string of successes in his forays into ownership.

The broadcast pundit, who will share the position with his brother Martin, is an integral part of The Horsewatchers syndicate – who have horses with David O’Meara and Mick Appleby, two of their four team trainers along with Michael Dods and Paul Midgley.

Already renowned for their race-planning abilities, the Dixon brothers will be hoping to put their extensive knowledge to good use when the League kicks off at Newcastle on July 29.

“From our point of view, myself and Martin are planning who is going to run where. We have our lists of horses from each yard – trainers have suggested which horses might be suitable, and from that we’ve put what we think might be the best team together,” said Chris.

“You have a limited number of horses for a select number of races – and we have to decide to run what, where. At the minute we are coming up with ideas and suggesting to trainers where they might want to run, and they decide if they are happy to run them.

“Rather than trainers sorting it all out themselves, our job is to liaise among them all.

“I already work for David, helping with his race planning, and Martin helps Mick with his entries now – so we’re both sort of in that role anyway. We know where we are with a good number of horses, and we need to integrate another two yards.”

There will be six races at each of six fixtures, with £50,000 on offer in every race, so the League is offering decent prize money – something Dixon can see the benefit of with his owners’ hat on as well.

“Some horses will have better opportunities outside of the Racing League – but the draw is all the races are worth £50,000, and a lot of these horses running in the League wouldn’t get anywhere near running in a £50,000 handicap,” he said.

“The prize money is a huge attraction from an ownership point of view. We have one of our new horses in the team, and we might transfer another one in later in the League.

“There will be horses involved in the League, and this will be their big aim. We have sprinters trained by Paul Midgley – Paul is our main man for the sprints – but the horses are rated generally in mid to high 70s.

“These horses don’t get to run for £50,000. It’s the same with a lot of our middle-distance horses.

“We’ll see if it takes off. I know people will complain, because it is something different – people always do – but it’s good prize money, and 12-runner races appeal to punters.

“We’ve got enough horses who should be competitive off fair enough handicap marks, but somewhere along the way you might have to fit a round peg into a square hole.

“Hopefully we have all bases covered. Paul will hopefully cover the sprints; Michael has the seven furlong to a mile horses; David has the longer-distance horses, because most of his sprinters are rated too high, while Mick has bits of everything.”

Dettori and Doyle among Racing League jockeys

Frankie Dettori, Oisin Murphy, Jim Crowley and Hollie Doyle are among the top jockeys who will be in action in the new Racing League competition this summer.

Dettori is one of three riders, along with Jamie Spencer and Luke Morris, for the Newmarket team of trainers John Gosden, Sir Mark Prescott, Robert Cowell and David Simcock.

Champion jockey Murphy will be riding for the Andrew Balding and Richard Hannon partnership. Hayley Turner and Sean Levey are his teammates.

Murphy said: “This is an exciting innovation and considering the prize money there should be fierce competition between the teams. I look forward to being involved.”

Oisin Murphy is looking forward to the competition
Oisin Murphy is looking forward to the competition (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Turner said: “It’s great that the racing industry has decided to try something a bit different. I know the jockeys and the trainers are all really excited. I think it will help to capture a non-racing audience and be a fun event all round.”

Crowley has Hector Crouch and Pat Cosgrave in his group for trainers George Baker, David Menuisier, Gary Moore and Amanda Perrett.

Doyle has Jack Mitchell and Cieren Fallon in her corner for another Newmarket combo of Michael Bell, Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Roger Varian.

There is also an Irish team from the stables of Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien, with Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic-winning rider David Egan combining with Gavin Ryan and Dylan Browne McMonagle.

Team France are currently awaiting confirmation of regulations surrounding Brexit and Covid-19 before announcing further details regarding their nominated jockeys.

Each jockey will be able to ride in a maximum of 18 of the 36 races in the competition.

In addition to the prize money on offer, jockeys will also be vying for a £50,000 prize pot awarded to the three jockeys who score the most points.

Twelve teams in all will compete at six meetings, featuring six races over six consecutive Thursday summer nights, starting at Newcastle on July 29.

Points will be awarded from first to 10th in each race, with the highest scoring team over all 36 races winning the league.

Oli Harris, Racing League’s chief marketing officer, said “We’re delighted that the teams have now confirmed their jockeys. The likes of Hollie, Oisin and Frankie will no doubt grab the headlines, but we are also excited to have some of the most talented up and coming jockeys in UK and Ireland on board, as well as experienced campaigners such as Paul Hanagan, Martin Dwyer and Jamie Spencer.

“This is an important step in painting a complete picture of the Racing League.

“We will follow this by announcing the principal naming partner of each team, before the 30 horses in each team’s squad are selected in July.”

Gosden heads Newmarket team as Racing League sides are announced

John Gosden is combining with three fellow Newmarket trainers as one of the 12 teams in the Racing League competition – which launches next summer.

This year’s champion Flat trainer will join forces with Sir Mark Prescott, Robert Cowell and David Simcock in the new initiative which will see the dozen teams compete across 36 races over six weeks at Newcastle, Doncaster, Lingfield and Windsor.

Each event will be worth £50,000, with prize money totalling £1.8 million for the series, which will run from July 29 until September 2, 2021.

There is another Newmarket team of Michael Bell, Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Roger Varian, making three in all after the first six squads were announced two weeks ago.

In the remaining six teams announced on Tuesday, Lambourn will be represented by Clive Cox, Nicky Henderson, Charlie Hills and Jamie Osborne.

Rutland trainer Mick Appleby will join northern-based Michael Dods, David O’Meara and Paul Midgley – while Mick Channon is partnering with Paul and Oliver Cole, Eve Johnston Houghton and Hughie Morrison for an additional southern-based team.

French handlers Philippe Decouz, Gavin Hernon and Edouard Monfort will combine to add to the Irish challenge of brothers Donnacha and Joseph O’Brien announced in the first batch of six.

Jeremy Wray, Racing League’s chief executive said: “We are really pleased to have such an illustrious group of trainers forming the 12 teams and are delighted to be adding an international flavour with the teams from Ireland and France.

“The next step will be for each team to select their three jockeys.”