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Bigger crowd expected at Doncaster as Frankie Dettori makes Racing League debut

Frankie Dettori: the big attraction at Doncaster's Racing League meeting
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Frankie Dettori makes his Racing League debut on night two of the inaugural competition at Doncaster on Thursday, with the track’s owner Arena Racing Company (Arc) expecting a bigger attendance for the team series event than for its first outing at Newcastle last week.

Dettori’s Newmarket Red team lead the way after the first night and the participation of the Italian jockey is likely to bolster interest in the evening.

Mark Spincer, managing director to Arc, said: “We are really pleased with how sales for the Racing League events have been going, especially since last week’s launch. Doncaster should see an increase on Newcastle’s fixture last week.”

Spectators watch the opening night of the Racing League at Newcastle

Approximately 1,500 spectators were at Newcastle for the first meeting and those in attendance at Doncaster will see Dettori ride three times, his first mounts of the year on Town Moor.

He starts off on Autumn Flight, a consistent sprinter trained by Robert Cowell in the 5f handicap (5.42), before adopting a more familiar partnership with chief backers John and Thady Gosden. He rides Sir Edward Elgar (7.20) in the mile handicap for the joint trainers and then Pitcher’s Point (7.53) in the 1m2f handicap.

Doncaster card on Thursday evening

Second-placed Team talkSPORT are seven points adrift of Newmarket Red after the first raceday, but will rely on reserve jockey Ray Dawson with Hollie Doyle, Cieren Fallon and Jack Mitchell riding elsewhere. Mitchell, who has four rides at Yarmouth, is leading jockey after the opening week.

The Racing League is a £1.8 million series featuring 12 teams that consist of a group of trainers, jockeys, a team manager and a squad of 30 horses.

Dettori is no stranger to success on Town Moor, as with Logician in the 2019 St Leger

Doncaster is the second of six Racing League meetings in consecutive weeks with fixtures at Lingfield (twice), Windsor and a return to Newcastle to come. All Racing League races are 0-90 handicaps for three-year-olds and upwards and a team has one runner in each contest.

There is a points system in operation for each race from first to tenth place and each race is worth £50,000. Bonuses will be paid to the champion team and the three jockeys with the most points, with the inaugural league concluding on September 2.

The National Trainers Federation has revealed its Flat committee has decided to exclude Racing League prize-money from the trainers’ championship on the basis the races are confined to a relatively small group of trainers, meaning the majority of trainers are not able to compete for the available prize-money.

Read more on the Racing League:

Strong start for the north but Newmarket Red end Racing League day one on top

'It's like T20' - changes promised after new £1.8 million series gets going

A good idea or a flawed concept? For and against the Racing League

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We are really pleased with how sales for the Racing League events have been going, especially since last week’s launch
E.W. Terms