This is it. The final day of the Racing League 2021 takes place at Newcastle and we’re so close to finding out who will finish on top of the Racing League table. This bold new initiative comes full circle as the Racing League returns to Newcastle’s all-weather track, where the six-week series began. In that time, we’ve seen the lead change several times at the top of the Racing League table – and the points on offer in the North-East on September 2ndensure the race to be the top team and the top jockey is likely to go right down to the wire.
The Racing League is revolutionary in its attempt to bring the fantastic sport of horse racing to a new audience. Over the last five weeks, people have been able to follow the fortunes of particular teams, riders and even horses, becoming familiar with many of the names involved. The competition is easy to follow; there are 12 teams, each made up of three jockeys and between two and four trainers. Each team can field one horse in each of the six races at every one of the Racing League fixtures, held on successive Thursday evenings in front of excited summer crowds. Points are allocated according to each runner’s finishing position in each race. The total Racing League prize money up for grabs is a tempting £2million, with a hefty £25,000 going to the winner of each race in the series. Fans can also take part in the Race Horse Lotto, a raffle with a host of great prizes including the chance to own a promising three-year-old filly for a year.
Team ThoroughBid go into the final Racing League meeting at Newcastle with a narrow lead – but there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns before we know who will be finishing top of the first Racing League table.
Only six races remain to be run in the Racing League 2021, and there’s a fascinating evening in prospect at Newcastle as the 12 teams fight it out for the honour of topping the first Racing League table. It has been intriguing to watch the way the teams’ managers and trainers have campaigned their horses over the course of the six weeks. Only horses registered to compete in the Racing League fixtures can take part, with the organisers believing this will help spectators to recognise names and build familiarity throughout the series.
All the races are Class 3 handicaps, with distances between a mile-and-a-half and the minimum trip of five furlongs. One name that will have become very familiar to followers of the Racing League is Cool Moe Dee, who is due to run for the fifth time in the six weeks when he lines up in the 8.35. Other horses have run just once or twice, while there are now a couple that have won two races in the series, netting their owners a handy £50,000 in the process.
Three of the horses who won in the Racing League’s opening fixture at Newcastle in July are due to reappear. Bonneval, the winner over a mile here, hasn’t been seen in action since but his trainer James Fanshawe will undoubtedly have him in good shape for the 7.05pm. Saluti goes in the last and has had a non-Racing League run since winning here. Strike Red, meanwhile, lines up in the 8.05pm having followed up his win here in July with a decent run into sixth place at Lingfield two weeks later. Two trainers with excellent records on the all-weather at Newcastle are Andrew Balding and Richard Fahey, who both had a winner here as the Racing League was unveiled. It would be no surprise to see them repeat that feat in the Racing League on September 2nd.
Team ThoroughBid have been at or very near the top of the Racing League table since the early stages and they go into the final meeting in first place. However, a lead of just four points over Goat Racing could vanish very quickly, and there could be plenty of changes in the Racing League table before the night is out. Hayley Turner goes to Newcastle joint top of the jockeys’ standings with four rides in prospect but Jack Mitchell, just seven points behind, has six mounts and will fancy his chances of finishing at the head of the table.
Here’s how the Racing League table looks going into the final day:
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Now that crowds are allowed back at the racecourse, the best way to watch the Racing League fixtures is to turn up in person to cheer on your selections. If, however, you are unable to get to Surrey to savour the Racing League Lingfield fixture, the good news is that you will still be able to enjoy the action. Live TV coverage is available through Sky Sports Racing, while any bookmaker with a live streaming service will be carrying footage on their website and app.
With so much at stake – not to mention £25,000 in Racing League prize money for the winner of each race – the action at Newcastle is sure to be fiercely competitive to the end. Let’s seek out some selections to score big points for their teams and delight their backers.
BILLHILLY became the second horse, after Typhoon Ten 30 minutes earlier, to double up in the Racing League 2021 at Lingfield last week. There was so much to like about the way Charlie Fellowes’s charge put his race to bed in the space of a few strides and roared home. He comes here under a penalty, and will face stiff competition from Foxtrot Sizzler, who won very nicely in the Racing League four weeks ago, and course-and-distance winner Third Kingdom. But Billhilly had so much in hand at Lingfield that he is taken to justify probable favouritism here.
This is the final race of the Racing League 2021 and is sure to be a furious affair over five furlongs. If THE PRINCES POET gets a little more luck in running than at Lingfield a week ago, he must have a very serious chance. Eve Johnson Houghton’s three-year-old was checked in his initial effort – usually fatal in a five-furlong race – but made eye-catching progress in the red colours in the latter stages and, though fourth, was less than a length off the winner. Two of those who finished ahead of him seven days ago reoppose, including winner Show Me Show Me, but The Princes Poet – a winner at Windsor in mid-August – is definitely a horse on the right lines.
A finishing position of eighth last time out doesn’t usually inspire much confidence when reading the racecard. But CANOODLED was only just over two lengths off the winner on that occasion. The race in question was at Doncaster in the second of the Racing League fixtures and Canoodled, in the light blue, was putting in her best work at the finish after getting away slowly. Recent winners Sevenal and Bonneval are likely to head the market here but Saffie Osborne, riding high in the jockeys’ Racing League table, takes five pounds off Canoodled’s back and could score some hefty points at a decent price.
What is the Racing League?
The Racing League 2021 is a new and innovative concept designed to broaden the appeal of horse racing to a wider audience. Twelve teams of trainers and jockeys compete on six successive Thursdays and collect points in each race – the team with the most points after six meetings will be the winners.
When is the Racing League?
The Racing League fixtures are scheduled in the early evening on six successive Thursdays to maximise the TV audience and to create familiarity with the schedule. The final fixture takes place on September 2nd, while the third of the six meetings is the Racing League event at Lingfield on August 12th.
Where are the Racing League races?
The Racing League fixtures span the length of the country. The first and last fixtures are scheduled for the all-weather surface at Newcastle, while Lingfield will also host two evenings. The other two cards are being staged at Windsor and Doncaster.
What time does the Racing League start?
All Racing League fixtures take place in the early evening to appeal to as broad a TV audience as possible. The first race in the Racing League Lingfield fixture on August 12th is due to take place at 5.38pm, with the final event scheduled for 8.08pm.