Preparations for Racing League move up a gear this week with the announcement of the seven team managers ahead of the jockey draft at Doncaster on Saturday morning, April 1.
Frankie Dettori is an eye-catching addition to the roster of seven managers attempting to win this year’s competition. He leads a strong East team who will be one of the favourites to wrestle the title from last year’s winners, Jamie Osborne’s Wales & The West.
Matt Chapman’s London & The South will be hoping to go one better after leading up until the final day.
Mick Quinn and Leonna Mayor have last year’s top trainers, Richard Fahey and Tim Easterby, to spearhead their respective challenges for The North and Yorkshire.
Ireland and Scotland, who will again be managed by Kevin Blake and Linda Perratt, both look set to field stronger teams, helping ensure a wide-open competition.
Dettori said: “Racing League brings something different into racing and I’ve really enjoyed being part of it for the last two years.
“The format adds a fun element while still being ultra-competitive. I will be doing everything I can to be the first player-manager to win it!”
Dettori after riding a winner for Wales & The West in 2022 (credit: Grossick Racing Photography)
The seven team managers are:
Ireland – Kevin Blake
London & The South – Matt Chapman
Scotland – Linda Perratt
The East – Frankie Dettori
The North – Mick Quinn
Wales & The West – Jamie Osborne
Yorkshire – Leonna Mayor
Racing League kicks off the school holidays at Yarmouth on July 27 and takes in summer evenings at Chepstow, Windsor, Newcastle and Wolverhampton before concluding at Southwell on September 13. All six fixtures will be shown live on ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing.
Over £2m in prize money will be up for grabs, with an additional £50,000 for the winning team, a £35,000 prize pool for the winning team’s jockeys and £20,000 to the jockey who scores the most individual points over the competition.
Each team manager will select seven jockeys via the draft and may add a wildcard selection at any time during the competition.
Among the 108 riders to have signed up for the draft are last year’s leading jockeys Saffie Osborne and Sean Levey, with Oisin Murphy a noteworthy addition.
A total of 135 yards have registered to compete, up from 125 in 2022. Among those set to have their first Racing League runners this year are Sir Michael Stoute, joining Frankie’s ranks in The East, Michael & David Easterby extending their family ties in Yorkshire and Hughie Morrison adding strength to Scotland.
Jeremy Wray, CEO of Racing League, said: “We first spoke with Frankie after last year’s competition, before he announced that this would be his last year riding, so we are obviously thrilled that he has taken up the challenge of managing The East. Once again, we are delighted to have so many trainers involved which will make for another fiercely competitive and exciting spectacle.”
The complete list of team trainers can be found here.