HomeNewsHorse RacingAustralia

Plans afoot for world series of horse racing

Sydney’s new The Championships at Randwick event is set to form part of a proposed world series of horse racing, according to Australian newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper said there is “growing momentum” to introduce such a series, which would seek to determine the world’s best thoroughbred, as early as next year. The Telegraph said the series would commence with the UAE’s Dubai World Cup and Sheema Classic events in March, taking in the world’s leading meetings in England, France, Singapore, the US, Japan and Australia before concluding with Hong Kong’s International Cup, International Vase and International Mile in December.

Qatar's Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, owner of 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden, is said to be one of many influential horse racing stakeholders in favour of the proposal. Sheikh Fahad's England-based racing manager David Redvers said racing club organisers must seek methods to make it easier for top horses to meet more often in Group 1 competition.  Australian Racing Board chairman John Messara said he has held preliminary discussions with Redvers and is preparing to raise the issue at the next meeting of international horse racing authorities this year.

Messara said: “This concept is something we should work on. Obviously the co-operation of governments is necessary because it requires streamlining of quarantine regulations so we need a powerful working party with representatives from around the world. Then there are obvious issues to resolve like the clash of the Dubai World Cup carnival and The Championships. It will be difficult to do but anything can be done if you have goodwill and people committed to the cause.”

The inaugural The Championships at Randwick will be held on April 12-19 and Redvers said all leading international owners and trainers are “desperate to see race meetings like the big international meeting at Royal Randwick really take off and flourish” and form part of a mooted world series.

“In the future, there is going to be a huge demand to set up a Formula One-type series between all the big international racedays,” Redvers added. “This is going to revolve around the quarantine situation and race dates being sorted out once and for all. For these things to really work and to have the international star horses running in all the big meetings, the powers that be need to thrash it through and come up with a solution. It is just a case of getting all the jurisdictions to sit down properly and work out the logistics. There is no question it is the future and it will be the future – it will happen.”