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Racing League 2021 - week 4 highlights
Team ThoroughBid Back on Top in the William Hill Racing League at Royal Windsor
The William Hill Racing League continued to stay down South with Race week 4 held for the first time at Royal Windsor Racecourse.
Going into the event, the points were once again tight at the top of the table with just 10 points separating the top two teams and the rest close behind. In the race for the overall Jockey's title, things were really hotting up with Jack Mitchell and Saffie Osborne both on two winners a piece, and with some hot prospects on the racecard.
In addition to the action off-course, DJ Amy Lauren once again treated racegoers to live performances with her fellow DJs, Archie B, Dots Per Inch and Rick Sanchez.
The first race on the card, the William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League Race Nineteen, had 10 runners going to post. The five-furlong handicap featured a hot favourite in Fernando Rah for League leaders, Team Swish with Trainer Clive Cox and jockey Kieran Shoemark, who jumped well, and looked the one to beat.
However, in the final furlong he faded when challenged by the 12/1 outsider Autumn Flight for Newmarket Red who secured the win, the first of their two runners of the evening and maximum points in the bank for them when he crossed the line in front by half a length.
The next race over six furlongs, got off to a slow start, with Tanfantic setting out a steady pace in front for Martin Dwyer and Team talkSPORT. He faded fast in the final furlong as Quickstep Lady and Natural Path ran on to challenge with Hayley Turner coming out on top onboard Quickstep Lady taking her to two wins overall for The William Hill Racing League Jockey's Championship, and moving her into a share of the lead alongside Saffie Osborne and Jack Mitchell.
Onto the third race, and the standings were remaining tight at the top with just one point separating Team Swish and Team ThoroughBid. Air to Air for Nicola Currie was the favourite and was slowly away with Nicola having to get to work as they sat out the back, she managed to scrub away and get Air to Air back to the front few places, but it was Dark Lion who managed to get through on the rail.
He jinked to his left and cut across Larado in the final stages and it turned out to be a messy finish with Dark Lion just managing to get up in front for Jack Mitchell taking him into the lead with three wins and moving talkSPORT up the table.
The fourth race was over a mile and all runners got off to a nice start. Hieronymus took a nice early lead, with Rosmana for Team Ireland taking on the lead with four furlongs to go and was travelling well. Hieronymus didn’t give up and came back to battle nicely but it was Via Serendipity who quickened on well to win by 1 ½ lengths for Team Goat and got a valuable 25 points taking them into third place in the overall standing.
As the light summer rain began to fall for the fifth race over one mile two furlongs, the ground seemed to have a bit of cut in it. Oslo was keen to start proceedings, taking a keen hold, but Miss Mulligan took the lead with four and a half furlongs to go and was the one to follow.
The pace quickened two furlongs out and Miss Mulligan and Barenboim battled to take up the lead, but it was Champagne Piaff who stole the show and improved on the form from Goodwood winning nicely for Gary Moore and taking Hector Crouch to two wins and scoring much needed points for Team BullionVault.
As we went to the last race a few changes were a foot with Team ThoroughBid taking the lead from Team Swish, talkSPORT and Team Bullionvault were not far behind. The last race was an important one to end proceedings well for teams at the top. The one mile three and a half furlongs start was on the banks of the River Thames, and it was going to be close affair, and interesting to see how the rain would effect the going.
Sword Beach took to the front as he got out of the gates quickly and took up an early three-length lead. As they came into the final few furlongs, the rest of the field struggled to catch Sword Beach on the rain softened ground. A late challenge came from Red October but the boldness of Georgia Dobie paid off with her getting the win, giving the horse a perfect front running ride and getting Remulate Racing their first full 25 points.
Speaking ahead of the evening’s racing and his first visit to Royal Windsor, trainer and member of Team Ireland Joseph O’Brien said of the William Hill Racing League
‘When we heard about it, we were very keen to get involved. I think it’s a fantastic initiative – there’s a great team spirit; great prize money with very competitive racing and it’s been a pleasure to be involved with it so far this year and hopefully we can look forward to many years ahead. I’m a very big fan and a big supporter of anything that can think outside of the box and bring in a new audience into racing, a slightly different concept, and basically ignite people.