Better late than never they’ll be saying, after the British horse racing fixture list was released today, two months after the proposed date and looking much the same as it always does, but with one significant addition – it’s trying to rebrand itself. After the football world saw the re-naming of the European Cup to the Champions League nearly 20 years ago everyone’s climbing aboard the bandwagon. Horse racing is no exception, but the question is will they steal the trademark theme tune?
The Champions Series will begin in April of next year with the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, consisting of five different categories – sprint, mile, middle distance, long distance and fillies and mares – and including the highest caliber races from each category (aka Champions League Group Stages)
The series will culminate in the £3m Champions Day (aka Champions League Final) at Ascot on October 15th, which will see the series come to an end and is set up to rival the Breeders Cup meeting in the US three weeks after, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend in Paris two weeks prior.
Although saying all that Karl Oliver, chief executive of BCS Ltd, commented: “It’s not a finals day, you can’t do that in racing, but the prize money on offer will make Champions’ Day by far the biggest day of the season, with twice as much as the second-biggest.”
Who are you kidding Karl? Really!