The inaugural Racing League 2021 gets underway at Newcastle Racecourse this evening with Team ODDSbible one of 12 teams chasing glory in the new horse racing competition. The event will take place over six Thursdays at a range of racecourses including Newcastle, Haydock, Windsor and Lingfield.
There are 36 races across the six racedays, all with a prize fund of £50,000. Each race has a guaranteed field of 12 runners and all of the races are handicap events open to horses with a handicap between 0 and 90.
With £1.8 million in prize money across the six weeks, it promises to be a brilliant summer of sport and we have previewed the opening night of action, for which Team ODDSbible, general 14/1 shots to win the competition outright, have a runner in every race. The four trainers representing the team are Alan King who tasted Group One success at Goodwood earlier this week when Trueshan captured the Goodwood Cup. The three other trainers are fellow Group One winning handlers Martyn Meade, Roger Charlton and Brian Meehan.
Team ODDSbible's three jockeys for the competition are former champion apprentice Jason Watson, Thore Hammer-Hansen and Martin Dwyer. Given Glorious Goodwood is also taking place this week, Group One winning rider PJ McDonald and Trevor Whelan will be wearing the yellow silks for the team at Newcastle on Thursday.
6.25pm William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League Race One (Five furlongs)
A competitive opener to kick off proceedings in which Team ODDSbible are represented by Centurion Song (25/1) for Brian Meehan. The four-year-old scored in good style at Bath earlier this month, but has been out of form in two runs since. He has been dropped back to a mark of 77 and is interesting back on a synthetic surface, having scored on the All-Weather at Southwell last season. The leading contenders for the contest include Copper Knight (3/1 favourite) with the seven-year-old boasting course and distance form at the track and Faustus who recorded a smooth win at Lingfield on his latest start.
Team ODDSbible runner: Centurion Song (25/1)
6.55pm William Hill Plus Bet Club Racing League Race Two (Six furlongs)
Another competitive event, with Team ODDSbible trainer Brian Meehan saddling Walls Of Kano (25/1). PJ McDonald takes the ride on the three-year-old who scored in good style at Salisbury in May, before finishing fourth at the same track in June. The son of Camacho struggled at Newmarket on his handicap debut, but would have learnt plenty from that experience and remains unexposed. The market leader is Strike Red (4/1) who scored in good style at Hamilton earlier this month and is capable of further improvement off a new mark. Cash Machine (9/2) has raced exclusively on the All-Weather and is another to note, along with Mohareb (5/1) who bounced back to form when scoring at Lingfield on the All-Weather on his latest start.
Team ODDSbible runner: Walls Of Kano (25/1)
7.25pm William Hill Extra Place Races Racing League Race Three (Seven furlongs)
Alan King's first runner for Team ODDSbible is hoping to play a leading role as Gavi Di Gavi (8/1) chases successive win. The six-year-old posted a career best when scoring at Kempton in July, powering clear in good style and whilst he has to deal with a 4lb rise, he looks capable of further improvement. The market leader is Royal Pleasure (3/1) who boasts plenty of good form on the All-Weather and should play a leading role, along with the unexposed French Rain (5/1) who represents Team Ireland.
Team ODDSbible runner: Gavi Di Gavi (8/1)
7.55pm William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League Race Four (One mile)
Another live contender for Team ODDSbible as Lord Neidin (15/2) represents Alan King. The four-year-old showed the benefit of wind surgery when taking a big step forward to score at Pontefract earlier this term and despite a 5lb rise to a mark of 88, there looks to be scope for more improvement, given he has previously excelled on the All-Weather. One of his main market rivals is Tenbury wells (11/4) who contested a good handicap at Newmarket last time out and has to be respected in this event.
Team ODDSbible runner: Lord Neidin (15/2)
8.25pm William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League Race Five (One mile and two furlongs)
Another ultra-competitive event in which King Of Tsavo (8/1) represents Team ODDSbible and trainer Roger Charlton. The three-year-old was a fine second at Haydock in June, before disappointing when favourite for a competitive contest at Newbury. Well-beaten on that occasion, that effort can be forgiven and he looks a well-handicapped contender who is capable of getting involved in this race. Others contenders to note include last time out winners True Scarlet (10/3), Epidemic (4/1) and Jebel Dukhan (6/1) in what looks one of the best races of the evening.
Team ODDSbible runner: King Of Tsavo (9/1)
8.55pm William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Racing League Race Six (One mile and four furlongs)
An interesting finale in which Team ODDSbible could have their best chance of a winner. Roger Charlton saddles In The Breeze (5/1) who recorded a career best when scoring in good style at Newbury on his latest start. A 6lb rise in the weights to a mark of 81 makes things tougher, but also highlights his upward progression and he looks a fascinating contender. A son of Derby hero Harzand he looks well-placed to run a big race if taking to the synthetic surface in the finale. His main market rival is Marshall Plan (7/2 who has solid form on the All-Weather, but disappointed at Royal Ascot on his latest start.
Team ODDSbible runner: In The Breeze (5/1)
Team ODDSbible to win the Racing League: 14/1
Team ODDSbible to win Racing League - Newcastle (July 29): 14/1