One minute you could be looking at Buckingham Palace and the next see eight horses race past you at 30mph!
Yes this may sound crazy but this is the idea of Peter Phillips. Phillips is the Queens eldest grandson and the managing director of SEL UK. A sports and entertainment company that specialise in large scale events. He wants to bring horse racing to the worlds biggest cities he said to the BBC in a recent interview.
He has been working on the proposed event for the last five years. Phillips has staged an event in London on a similar style surface that he aims to use should the proposal go ahead. An equestrian event was held on Horse Guards Parade in London and he said it showed it could be done in a safe manner. The instalment and removal of the the surface took three days. This is promising for the event as its shows it is practical and manageable to do.
The aim of the event is to have six flat races, each with eight runners in, that would be five furlongs/1000 metres long. The races would be held down some very famous roads/streets around the world for example across the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Talks are currently in place for racing to start at the end of 2019 and 2020.
A successful trial happened at Aintree in November 2018. The track will be a synthetic surface that has a layer of thick sand on top of it that is able to withstand horses. After trialling it at Aintree they got positive feedback from jockeys and trainers in terms of how horses coped. However, everything from the track to safety rails needs to first be sanctioned from the British Horseracing Authority.
Paul Fisher who is the chief executive of the Jockey Club seems keen for the idea. He said it can be horseracings version of twenty20. Currently their man hopes are getting races in London and Paris. At the moment this is seeming difficult to agree. For the near future it is more likely races will happen in Australia and Asia.
It is not certain yet that these races will happen but it would definitely be an exciting addition to the already entertaining sport! However, if your looking for some exciting racing in the near future then look no further than Cheltenham Race Festival. The meet is the biggest in the National Hunt calendar packed with loads of highly anticipated races. The pick of the week is the Gold Cup on the Friday of the festival. Currently Bet365 Presenting Percy and Clan Des Obeaux as favourites at 7/2. Last years winner Native River is at 9/2. Bet365 have odds on all of the festivals 28 races.
From jockeys racing on space hoppers to now racing down the middle of high streets, who knows what will be next!