Just as cricket evolved to include one-day games and later on the Twenty20 format, and Formula One took to street racing to compliment the track events, horse racing in the UK is looking to branch out.
Street Racing is an idea that has been mooted for quite some time and is now getting closer to becoming a reality.
The plan is to one day be able to stage racing fixtures featuring flat races containing eight runners, each over five-furlong straight courses in a street environment.
The locations and the options are in theory limitless, with racing potentially taking place in iconic cities with backdrops such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge for example.
With races featuring a crowd barrier protecting the horses and pedestrians from each other, people could line up only 2-3 metres back from the action and successful trials of the surface which would be required having already taken place at Aintree Racecourse.
Would Street Racing Be Safe for the Horses?
It certainly wouldn’t go ahead if there was any doubt.
A synthetic surface would be laid on the city streets which would be topped with a chunky layer of sand. This sort of surface, it is thought, would be able to handle the weight of the horses as they go at full racing speed.
With a veterinary advisory board in place as part of the framework of the initiative, it is not thought that there would be any concern to equine safety.
With Britain at the forefront of the Street Racing venture, the British Horseracing Authority have been consulted at every stage and they would need to sign off on the track surface and railings before any racing could take place in an urban environment.
Is Street Racing Likely to Go Ahead?
Given that the organisers wanted to see Street Racing taking place by 2020 at the latest, there have obviously been some problems along the way which is to be expected.
The impact of coronavirus during 2020 held things back by at least a year, but with safety concerns largely addressed there is no reason in theory why the sport can’t branch out into the streets in the near future.
As of right now, there is no concrete information, but there is certainly plenty of interest.