CENTURIES old rivalries between Oxford and Cambridge will be put to a new test this autumn when student riders go head-to-head in the first Flat race between the two universities at Newmarket’s historic Rowley Mile course on Dubai Future Champions Day on Friday, October 17.

Sporting competition between the two seats of learning has been a feature since the first annual Boat Race in 1829.

But, until now, the two universities have never faced each other on the racecourse, despite both boasting active equestrian clubs.

Five riders from each university will don racing colours in the distinctive blues made famous by other sporting rivalries, including rugby union and rugby league Varsity matches, and do battle over a mile.

Oxford captain Lizzy Hamilton, who is studying chemistry at Christ Church College, said: “I cannot wait to take part in the Varsity horse race – it’s a superb initiative.

“Rivalry between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge goes back so many centuries and we cannot wait to compete against Cambridge on the racecourse.”

Student Harry Beckett, who first conceived of the idea, commented; “I’ve spent two years trying to get this race off the ground so I’m delighted to see it come to fruition.”

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