Movers & Shakers

After a thrilling opening night to the William Hill Racing League at Newcastle last week, all eyes will be firmly fixed on Doncaster this Thursday, but before we get to that here’s a reminder of how it all unfolded on the tapeta.

The evening was dominated not just by David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd’s dance moves but by Newmarket Red, the team that now sit at the top of the leaderboard. They were consistent all evening and that paid off. Only finishing outside the top-three once, they clearly earned their right to the title of current league leaders. However, close on their tail were Team talkSPORT, finishing the evening just seven points behind the principals on 78.

These two teams pulled clear from the others on the night and left behind third-placed Team Racehorse Lotto on 63, but with 25 points up for grabs to the winner of each race it’s still all to play for. That can be said particularly for Team ThoroughBid, who didn’t get there evening off to a great start but after landing a win in the penultimate race followed by a fifth-place finish in the last, it has left them in a respectable seventh place on 47. With the in-form Andrew Balding at their mercy, this must be a team to be reckoned with as the competition warms up.

Despite a strong start to the evening, finishing second in the second race of the night, Remulate Racing then failed to record a finish better than tenth for the remainder of the four races. However, this is a team full of character and to see them bounce back this week would be no surprise at all.

 Who to watch in Week 2

Heading into Week 2 and we are joined by racing royalty on Thursday night. Names in racing don’t come much bigger than that of a certain Signor Frankie Dettori, who makes his Racing League debut for Newmarket Red. Dettori was otherwise engaged last week at Glorious Goodwood, as was James Doyle who takes the reigns this time for GOAT Racing, replacing the talented Laura Pearson. Dettori will certainly not be a hindrance to the chances of league leaders Newmarket Red’s chances, and unsurprisingly they have taken early favouritism to come out on top at the end of week at six at 2/1.

One to look out for this week is Team Swish who are currently sitting in ninth, they have Ed Walker taking his four charges to Doncaster this week. He had a fruitful time of it at the end of last month and in the last 14 days is operating at a healthy strike rate of 28%, and with the assistance of talented young jockey Saffie Osbourne in the saddle, it would be no great surprise to see Team Swish push higher up the leaderboard. The pick of these chances looks to be Tenaya Canyon in the first race of the night, this filly was touched off by just a length on her last which came over this course and distance. She comes here some 4lbs lighter in the weights and at 6/1 looks a good opportunity for Team Swish.

Rules Reminder

Each of the 12 teams has one runner in each of the six races, with each race being worth 100 points. The winner taking 25, the second taking home 18 and so on until you reach 10th place, who are awarded a solitary point. It is up to the teams and their managers to decide where they think their best horses have the best chance, just like any normal race, and come week 4 there will be a change to the roster of horses in order to keep legs fresh.

Throughout the six weeks, the six races are worth £50,000 in total, meaning over the course of the competition there will be a total of £1.8 million distributed in prize money, but that’s not all. The winning team will benefit from a bonus of £150,000, so it really will pay to be at the top of that leaderboard when the time comes.

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