Well, that’s the curtain for another thrilling year of Racing League. Who would have thought that 2023’s League would come down to the final race!
As Kevin Blake & Jamie Osborne continued their ‘friendly’ team rivalry throughout the evening at Southwell, one thing was evident from the outset. Saffie Osborne would win the final race of the evening aboard Valsad to be crowned Top Jockey for the second consecutive year (bagging a cool £20,000 prize in the process).
Consistent performances in the earlier rounds of Racing League, including three victories in the opener at Great Yarmouth, saw Saffie open up a commendable lead. It was a margin that proved to be a step too far for nearest rival Dylan Browne McMonagle, who would finish 121 behind Osborne after the final race.
Back to the teams, and it was certainly close. Just seven points separated the top two teams in the end; Team Ireland edging out Team Wales & The West by 816 points to 809. It was a tale of what could have been for Jamie Osborne’s Wales & The West though, with an ill-timed Joker placement in a field short of runners essentially rendering it useless!
From our perspective, it’s been great seeing top-performing jockeys in our official apparel throughout the 2023 season. It’s also been amazing to see so many trainers, owners, media personalities and, of course, fans of all ages, loving our bright team caps!
The League itself, finally, seems to be garnering the right kind of attention and press.
While it is a new concept for the sport that does strip away some of the individuality elements of horse racing, it opens the sport up to a brand-new audience, to which we saw hundreds of kids at Southwell today enjoying the various activities put on by Arena Racing Company and the Racing League.
And when it came to it, the action was thoroughly competitive at every event we visited. The Racing League is the perfect introduction to Horse Racing and should be seen as a way of driving more young fans into the sport, protecting and safeguarding it for years to come!
Highs of 2023:
- Frankie Dettori announcing he will take part in the Racing League in what would be his final year of racing.
- Saffie Osborne showing her unbelievable credentials throughout the season with a number of phenomenal rides.
- Seeing great turnouts at each event, with a wide range of new fans experiencing the sport for the first time.
Lows of 2023:
- Weighbridge fire at the Chepstow meeting requiring fire brigade intervention, delaying racing for a good amount of time.
- This isn’t exactly a season low, but it is for the individual involved, if he was ever to read this! At Southwell last night prior to the final race, a cameraman took an unfortunate backwards trip into the ice-cold water put out for the horses, getting soaked in the process!
And with that being the end of the 2023 campaign, it’s strange to think that the beginning of Racing League all those months ago signalled the high tide of summer, while the end of the Racing League closes it out! Time flies when you’re having fun.
What will 2024 hold? We’ll see! Check out our gallery below from the finale at Southwell below.
Before we go, we do have a little teaser for you.
We’ve teamed up with the Racing League to give ONE lucky fan the ULTIMATE Racing League 2023 memento.
Can you guess what it is yet? All will be revealed soon…