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Epsom, Goodwood and Leopardstown amongst courses set to stage team racing competition known as “The Series” in 2019

Jonathan Vine 7 Dec 2018
Epsom Downs is just one of eight racecourses to volunteer to host "The Series".

The flat racing world was struck with a bombshell on Wednesday, as Championship Horse Racing unveiled plans for “The Series”, with eight high-profile racecourses announcing themselves as possible venues for this team-racing initiative.

Whenever the Shergar Cup rolls around, the imagination of the viewing public is lit up with ideas and inspiration. That four-team competition at Ascot – where jockeys representing Britain & Ireland, Europe, Rest Of The World and The Girls fight for supremacy during the course of a race card – is currently the only day of the year where jockeys and horses race as a team. However, that could soon be about to change.

A new organisation called Championship Horse Racing announced this week that they have proposed a new initiative to the BHA and HRI called “The Series”. “The Series” is set to take place on Thursday nights between July and September, where teams of horses will try to accumulate points in designated races, with the winning team being crowned at the end of the series.

CHR (Championship Horse Racing) are proposing that 48 races will be included in “The Series”, each of them offering entrants the chance to claim their share of a whopping £100k prize pot. Eight racecourses have already announced their desire to jump on board: Ayr, Epsom, Goodwood, Haydock, Newbury, Newmarket and Sandown have volunteered to stage “The Series” races, along with Leopardstown in Ireland.


This scheme has been put together in an attempt to make horse racing more appealing to novices amongst the sporting public. Events like the Ryder Cup and Mosconi Cup are prime examples of team events thriving in individual sports and the CHR’s announcement has been met with great excitement in many corners of the horse racing world.

The brainbox behind the CHR is Jeremy Wray, the former chairman of Swindon Town Football Club who has connections within the betting industry. He spoke to the Racing Post this week and outlined his hopes for the “The Series”.

“We’re thrilled 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." Wray said on Wednesday. 

“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.”

“Since we first took the idea of The Series to the BHA in 2017, the structure and format of the event has been the direct result of consultation with all relevant bodies, including owners and trainers."

“We understand the need for continued consultation and are working closely with the ROA on a similar information pack shortly to be received by its members.”

“The information pack sent out in conjunction with the NTF to 477 Flat trainers throughout Britain has resulted in numerous requests to be involved. It has been particularly pleasing to have received so much support from leading trainers keen to back an initiative designed to bring new revenues into racing."



Some figures in the game, it seems, need a little more convincing. Sheikh Fahad – head-honcho of Qatar Racing and one of horse racing’s most prominent backers – has poured scorn on the F1 style series, describing the concept as “ridiculous” in a post on his personal twitter account.

Whether you are a purist or an extrovert, surely any scheme which would increase exposure for the sport, and offer trainers the chance to earn some extra prize money, should be embraced. No potential entrants have thrown their names into the ring, but with so many high profile courses set to host “The Series”, our team at RacingTips are extremely excited at the prospect of this innovative idea coming to fruition.


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Epsom, Goodwood and Leopardstown amongst courses set to stage team racing competition known as “The Series” in 2019

The flat racing world was struck with a bombshell on Wednesday, as Championship Horse Racing unveiled plans for “The Series”, with eight high-profile racecourses announcing themselves as possible venues for this team-racing initiative.

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