World championship on hold

Racing’s world series has been scrapped for this year but could return with a new format in 2007.

First run in 1999 and won by such stars as Daylami, Fantastic Light and High Chaparral, the World Racing Championships had lost some of its importance over the last couple of years after losing a sponsorship deal.

There had been talk of a revamp and proposals to change the format for the middle-distance weight-for-age series had been circulated among the participating authorities and racecourses.

However, the WRC committee suffered a blow when new chairman Michael Osborne died in December.

The committee will now liaise with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities to study the feasibility of introducing a new merit award system which would give recognition to the best performers around the world.

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The past winners of our World Racing Championships awards have truly reflected the winning spirit to support the growth of great international competition.

“As our member organisations look forward, we must provide a sharper focus on world rankings and recognition that can be widely tracked and accepted by the entire racing world.

“While no timetable is set for a relaunch in a new format, the members will continue their full commitment and co-operation to showcase international competition at its highest levels in racing.

“In the meantime, the WRC logo will continue to be used by member organisations to demonstrate their continuing association and commitment.”

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