Ireland clash with Wales & The West in thrilling Racing League finale

The Racing League reaches another thrilling conclusion at Southwell on Wednesday, all live on Sky Sports Racing, as defending champions Wales & The West take on Ireland for the 2023 title.

8.45 Southwell – Title race set to go down to £100k finale

With a £100k race prize plus the all-important title on the line in the final contest, the William Hill Epic Value Racing League Race 42 Handicap (8.45), it is no surprise to see a top-quality field of 12 gather for the 12-furlong contest.

Just two points separate defending champions Wales & The West (666) from Ireland (664) heading into Southwell and both sides field a strong pair here.

Valsad will be Saffie Osborne’s final ride of the competition as she hopes to have clinched a second successive Racing League jockeys’ title and a bonus prize of £20k.

Roger Charlton’s four-year-old Valsad was narrowly denied at Newbury last month and looks potentially well-treated off a mark of 87.

Racing League team standings after round five at Wolverhampton
Image: Racing League team standings after round five at Wolverhampton

Ireland’s charge is headed by Star Harbour, making a third appearance in Racing League this year having scored well at Chepstow on night two before picking up more valuable points in sixth at Windsor.

Enemy is turned out quickly by Ian Williams having finished third in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock on Saturday and completes the Wales & The West team.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s other hopeful Percy Shelley is tricky to gauge on first start for David O’Meara but carries some top form over from France.

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Ireland manager Kevin Blake says his team are ‘in there swinging’ for the final round of Racing League but expects they will need some late drama to beat defending champions Wales & The West

4.10 Uttoxeter – Simply Red on a hat-trick bid

Jumps fans get a top six-race card to enjoy on Wednesday from Uttoxeter, featuring a competitive class two Cambion Electronics Handicap Hurdle (4.10).

Donald McCain’s hat-trick seeker Simply Red looks the one to beat but needs to prove she can win away from her favourite Bangor-on-Dee.

The chief danger looks to be the James Owen-trained Enthused, who narrowly prevailed over this course and distance on his last start and bids to follow up with Lilly Pinchin taking the ride.

Top-weight Prince Escalus was victorious for the Jonjo O’Neill team at Ascot on his penultimate start and needs to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Ascot in April.

Always beware the Charles Byrnes raider from Ireland. In this case it is largely out-of-form Boom Boom Boom, who needs to bounce back from a couple of poor efforts at Galway.

Jonjo O'Neill takes a look behind to check Prince Escalus' rivals are out of sight
Image: Jonjo O’Neill takes a look behind to check Prince Escalus’ rivals are out of sight

3.25 Bath – Coronation Cottage back for more

The domestic afternoon action is completed by seven races from Bath, including a wide-open renewal of the Great Prices On Handicap (3.25).

Bottom weight Coronation Cottage will be feared by her rivals after scoring over course and distance in good style at the end of August.

Under Curfew will head the field for Tony Carroll and Jason Watson and returns to the turf having finished third at Wolverhampton on Saturday.

Clive Cox’s lightly-raced Exorbitant drops to the minimum trip having showed improved form at Kempton last month.

Wednesday racecards | Latest Sky Bet odds

Watch every race from Southwell, Uttoxeter and Bath all live on Sky Sports Racing on Wednesday, September 13.

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