Movers & Shakers

Week 3 of the William Hill Racing League produced thrills, spills and a stewards’ enquiry on the all-weather at Lingfield. There was plenty of movement in the table too as three teams staked their claims for the title.

Team Swish continued their rise as Adam Kirby and the league’s leading rider, Saffie Osborne, each rode a Charlie Hills trained runner to victory.

Menai Bridge clung on in the final strides of a dramatic conclusion to the fifth race, which was enough for Osborne to maintain her position as leading rider despite Jack Mitchell closing to within a point when Lydford won the last.

A huge 80 points were not enough to secure top team on the day however, as that honour fell to the resurgent Goat Racing who leapt up to third after a win and two seconds, recording 84 points.

Hayley Turner was also in fine form for Team ThoroughBid, returning a winner, second and third from six rides. In doing so, she moved up to fourth in the jockey standings while her team now sits only 10 points off leaders, Swish Racing.

It certainly wasn’t Team Racehorse Lotto’s day as they endured a horrible moment when Marco Ghiani unshipped from Papa Stour with the second race seemingly at his mercy. Fortunately, the young rider walked away unscathed, but his team who had held a narrow lead at the top coming into race day three could only manage 31 points and slipped to seventh in the table.

They still fared better than Team Ireland, who, after a much better points haul in week 2 returned to the doldrums at Lingfield, managing only 18 points.

Who to watch in week 4

The William Hill Racing League continues back on turf at Windsor this Thursday.

Huraiz may be able to lift Team Racehorse Lotto’s fortunes after last week at 13/2. He looks to be beginning to get down to a workable mark for Stuart Williams after running two good races at Windsor most recently. Last time, he held every chance a furlong out, but faded into fifth towards the finish, paying the price for chasing a strong pace. A return to five furlongs should suit him better.

Team Ireland need to start scoring points and they may have a horse to do that in the lightly raced Rosmana. Recently recruited from France by Joseph O’Brien, this filly was never really sighted on stable debut at Galway, when getting stuck behind a wall of horses. That was her first run since October last year, so she is entitled to come on for it. With her mark unchanged, she looks likely to run well at 11/1.

Lydford won with something in hand at Lingfield for Team talkSPORT and could be easily up to the task of defying a penalty at Windsor. He has yet to win on turf, however, and with him likely to be a short-priced favourite the temptation is to take him on with Luigi Vampa at 10/1. This horse caught the eye staying on after a slow start last time and looks ready to win off this mark.

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 £1.8million 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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