07/02/2008 12:00AM

New British series planned


Plans for a 10-race series of British Group 1 races with total prize money of $20 million were unveiled in London on Wednesday. The new Sovereign Series, to start in 2010, will consist of 10 existing races, each of which will have its purse increased by an average of about $600,000. In addition, a bonus of about $4 million will go to the owners of the horse who accumulates the most points in the series.

The brainchild of Racing UK, the British television racing network, and the British Horseracing Authority, the series will include the two major classics for colts plus all of Britain's most important weight-for-age Group 1 contests between one mile and 1 1/2 miles except the 1 1/2-mile Coronation Cup.

In chronological order, the Sovereign Series will consist of the 2000 Guineas (one mile, 3-year-olds), Lockinge Stakes (one mile, 4-year-olds and up), Epsom Derby (1 1/2 miles, 3-year-olds), Prince of Wales's Stakes (1 1/4 miles, 4-year-olds and up), Eclipse Stakes (1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds and up), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1 1/2 miles, 3-year-olds and up), Sussex Stakes (1 mile, 3-year-olds and up), Juddmonte International Stakes (1 1/4 miles, 88 yards, 3-year-olds and up), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1 mile, 3-year-olds and up), and the Champion Stakes (1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds and up).

Three of the races, the Epsom Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Juddmonte International, are currently worth at least $1 million. As part of the series, the other seven would all receive purse increases that would put them over the $1 million mark.