The Series: New team competition delayed until 2020

Epsom racecourse
Epsom, home of the Derby, is one of eight courses that will host 'The Series'

A planned Formula 1-style summer horse racing series involving teams has been delayed until 2020.

Eight racecourses in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland had agreed to stage meetings with millions of pounds in prize money.

But a spokesman for Championship Horse Racing told BBC Sport: "We can confirm we have delayed the launch until next year."

In December, organisers said 'The Series' would take place this summer.

The plan was for it to take place on consecutive Thursday evenings.

"We are currently getting the teams in place for 2020 and over the summer we will make a more detailed announcement about our exciting future plans," added the spokesperson on Wednesday.

Ayr, Epsom, Goodwood, Haydock, Leopardstown, Newbury, Newmarket and Sandown had all agreed to stage meetings with six Flat races.

Each of the 48 races, from 25 July to 12 September, would have been worth at least £100,000.

The series is being organised by Championship Horse Racing and its chief executive, Jeremy Wray - a former chairman of Swindon Town FC.

Each team would comprise a racing manager, four jockeys and a squad of 30 horses.

However, the meetings were additional to the British fixture list, required the approval of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), and attracted some controversy.

The plan was criticised by leading owner and sponsor Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who described it as a "ridiculous idea".

Sheikh Fahad, whose interests include Qatar Racing, had urged the BHA to consult with trainers and owners before proceeding.

He also heads Qipco, sponsors of the British Champions Series, which has several big races over the summer.

Earlier on Wednesday, it was announced Qatar's sponsorship of the Glorious Goodwood Festival would be extended for another five years.

The five-day meeting, which this year starts on 30 July, has been supported by another Qatari sheikh - Joaan Al Thani, founder of Al Shaqab Racing.

Top Stories