A series of races is to be staged in Europe which will guarantee a starting berth for one horse in next year’s Kentucky Derby, the biggest race in America.
Qualifiers will be run at Chantilly, Doncaster, Dundalk, Naas, Newmarket and Newcastle.
Horses will accrue points relating to their finishing position in the qualifiers in what is being billed as the European Road to the Kentucky Derby’.
European races will guarantee a starting berth for one horse in next year’s Kentucky Derby
Only the top four points earners at the end of the seven race series will be eligible to take up the Kentucky Derby starting spot with the offer being extended to contenders in the order they finish in the points table.
The Jockey Club, which operates two of the tracks – Kempton and Newmarket - called the initiative ‘ground-breaking’.
Its two qualifiers in the series are the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on September 30 and the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes’ at Kempton on March 1, 2018.
The European road to the Kentucky Derby to see