Movers & Shakers

Team ThoroughBid and Goat Racing asserted their authority at the top of the William Hill Racing League Table, as they won three of the six races on offer on race day five at Lingfield.

A feature of both team’s success is that they have progressive horses to call upon and there can be few more so than Billhilly, who produced easily the performance of the night, when streaking clear to win the fourth race under Louis Steward for Goat Racing.

That was Billhilly’s second win from as many starts in the league and in the final race another fine servant for Goat Racing, Red October, lasted home to add a win to his two previous seconds in the competition.

It completed a double for Steward and took his overall tally to four winners, as he drew level with Hayley Turner at the top of jockeys’ standings.

Turner has been a mainstay of the competition, with only Saffie Osborne taking more rides, but she was out of luck at Lingfield. It was left to Team ThoroughBid’s second rider, Sean Levey, to guide Typhoon Ten to a second Racing League win in three starts, when taking the third race.

Several teams who had been in contention after week 4 lost ground on the leaders, with talkSPORT, Swish and BullionVault all only managing points totals in the 40s, in contrast to Team ThoroughBid’s 76 and Goat Racing’s 75 points.

Top scorers on the evening were Team Racehorse Lotto with an impressive 80 points, enough to take them up to sixth place in the table, but likely too far off the lead as the competition enters its final week.

At the bottom, Newmarket Red and Team Ireland could only manage 28 points between them as they continued their disappointing campaigns. They remain in contention for bottom spot with 12th placed Arena Racing.

Who to watch in week six

With only four points separating Team ThoroughBid and Goat Racing, next week looks set to be a fascinating concluding episode to the William Hill Racing League.

The champions will be crowned after six races on the all-weather at Newcastle this Thursday. Team ThoroughBid can be backed at evens to lift the title, while Goat Racing are available at 11/10.

The 20:05 looks a typically competitive 6-furlong handicap, but Goat Racing have an interesting contender in Cash Machine. This horse ran at the first Racing League meeting back in July, where he caught the eye finishing well after being trapped behind a wall of horses. Cash Machine wasn’t given a hard time when running into fourth and he looks a horse that trainer Tom Clover has been saving for a race. He remains on the same mark of 82 here and should have learnt plenty from that first taste of handicap company.

Jack Mitchell is still firmly in contention to be crowned top rider and looks to have a nice chance on course and distance winner Bonneval in the 19:05. When winning here last time, he swiftly made ground from an unfavourable position on the middle of the track, before strongly holding off a late challenger at the finish. With the third placed having won since it looks reasonable form, and he may be value for a four-pound rise in the weights.

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 six 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.