The Sky Bet Sunday Series will be back in 2022 after Racecourse Media Group and six of its racecourses renewed ties with partners ITV and Sky Bet for an expanded format after the success of this year's inaugural programme.
The new racecourses involved for next year are Hamilton Park, York and Pontefract, who will join Musselburgh, Haydock Park and Sandown Park – who staged the three fixtures of the first-ever series in 2021.
The Sky Bet Sunday Series, which showcases compelling and competitive racing for excellent prize money in a late afternoon slot to a new terrestrial audience on summer Sundays, will offer total prizemoney of £1.2m. The Series will be open to all trainers who have horses eligible for the race conditions.
In 2021, the Series offered £200,000 worth of bonuses, and - in addition - £10,000 of prize money for stable staff with Sky Bet also offering increased Best-Turned-Out prizes of £250 per race. Following consultation with stakeholders and horsemen, the additional details of the 2022 Sky Bet Sunday Series will be announced in the New Year.
The six seven-race Sunday cards will be showcased in their entirety on ITV4 and comprise:
· 8th May – Hamilton Park
· 22nd May – York
· 5th June – Musselburgh
· 19th June – Pontefract
· 7th August – Haydock Park
· 21st August – Sandown Park
The Sky Bet Sunday Series will endeavour to delve behind the scenes and uncover the less-told stories about what goes into preparing a horse for racing and what goes into staging a race day itself, as well as grassroots features such as pony racing. he Series will also present a chance to showcase horses, trainers and jockeys who don't often get the limelight.
Leading trainer Grant Tuer said:
“The Sky Bet Sunday Series was a most welcome, innovative introduction to the calendar in 2021, particularly as it was open to anyone who had a horse eligible to run in a variety of races on offer.
"This is exactly what we need" - Grant Tuer talks to Racing TV last year about the inaugural Sky Bet Sunday Series
“I’m delighted to see it return for 2022. The prizemoney is exceptional, as well as the bonuses on offer, and we were thrilled to win £10,000 for the stable last year by saddling the most winners and placed horses. The sport also gets a Sunday slot on ITV, which can only be good news in terms of getting more people interested in racing.”
Mark Trinder, Director of Commercial Sales and Partnerships at ITV, said:
"After a successful first year we at ITV are very pleased to again collaborate with RMG and Sky Bet on this innovative race day format for 2022. Adding to our already exclusive and extensive coverage, ITV is truly the ‘Home of Racing’."
Steve Birch, Sky Bet CEO, said:
“Sky Bet are excited to continue our partnership with the Sunday Series next year. We have seen great customer demand for good quality racing on a Sunday evening, and are delighted to expand the series to six meetings in 2022. The Series was a great collaborative industry effort in 2021, and we are really looking forward to working closely again with RMG, ITV, the racecourses, and Horsemen to put on another great show for racing.”
Ed Gretton, Director of Racing at Racecourse Media Group, said:
“The Sky Bet Sunday Series is a strategic collaboration between various stakeholders with a view to growing the value of the sport by maximising the Sunday opportunity for the industry and fans alike. The inaugural series featured highly competitive, good-quality racing, with excellent field sizes, and a fresh injection of significant prizemoney and bonuses. The feedback we received from racegoers, racecourses, bookmakers and the media has been highly encouraging and valuable in developing the Series for 2022.”
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