The £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day – Media Guide

The £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day
Lingfield Park, Good Friday, April 19, 2019
For full 27-page media guide, containing detailed statistics and further information, please click HERE

Media Information
About Good Friday 2019
Good Friday, which this year falls on April 19, is now firmly established as one of the top-class racedays in the British Racing calendar, with £1,451,050 in prize money on offer across three Arena Racing racecourses in 2019.
For the third year running, the splendid £1-million card on All-Weather Championships Final Day at Lingfield Park is supported by a £251,200 All-Weather programme at Newcastle Racecourse, which includes the £100,000 Listed Ladbrokes Burradon Stakes, as well as a turf card worth just shy of £200,000 at Bath Racecourse that features the £55,000 Listed Whitsbury Manor Stud/British EBF Lansdown Stakes.
All-Weather Championships Finals Day programme at Lingfield Park – Polytrack
1.30pm £50,000 Sun Racing All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap (81-100), 7f 1y
2.00pm £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championship, 1m 7f 169y
2.30pm £150,000 Ladbrokes All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championship, 7f 1y
3.05pm £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship, 6f 1y
3.40pm £150,000 Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championship, 6f 1y
4.15pm £200,000 Betway Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championship, 1m 2f
4.45pm £150,000 Sun Racing All-Weather Mile Championships, 1m 1y
Total £1 million
Newcastle’s Good Friday race programme – Tapeta
1:40pm £10,400 Handicap (66-80), 7f 14y
2:10pm £15,000 Ladbrokes Novice Race, 5f
2:45pm £20,000 Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Fillies’ Conditions Race, 5f
3:20pm £100,000 Ladbrokes Burradon Stakes (Listed), 1m 5y
3:55pm £85,000 Betway Live Casino Handicap (86-100), 1m 4f 98y
4:25pm £10,400 Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap (66-85), 1m 4f 98y
4:55pm £10,400 Play 4 To Score At Betway Handicap (71-85), 5f
Total £251,200           
Bath’s Good Friday race programme – Turf
1:50pm £7,750 Betway Novice Race, 5f 160y
2:20pm £20,000 Betway Conditions Race, 5f 10y
2:55pm £50,000 Value Rater Racing Club Is Free Handicap (81-100), 1m 3f 137y
3:30pm £50,000 Betway Handicap, 1m
4:00pm £55,000 Whitsbury Manor Stud/British EBF Lansdown Stakes (Listed), 5f 10y
4:35pm £8,550 Dribuild Group Handicap (66-85), 1m 3f 137y
5:05pm £8,550 Inspire Racing Club Handicap (71-85), 5f 10y
Total £199,850           
About the All-Weather Championships
Season six of the All-Weather Championships began on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 and culminates with the exciting £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday, April 19, 2019, at Lingfield Park.
The six championship categories are:
£150,000 Three-Year-Olds sponsored by Ladbrokes – 6f Final
£150,000 Fillies & Mares sponsored by Ladbrokes – 7f Final
£150,000 Mile sponsored by Sun Racing – 1m Final
£150,000 Sprint sponsored by Betway – 6f Final
£150,000 Marathon sponsored by Betway – 2m Final
£200,000 Middle Distance sponsored Betway – 10f Final
There are two ways for horses to qualify for one of the finals on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park:
* A horse can win a ‘Fast Track Qualifier’ race which will ensure a FREE and GUARANTEED place in the corresponding final on Good Friday.
There are four Fast Track Qualifiers in each of the six Championship Categories hosted at racecourses in Great Britain, Ireland and France.
If a filly wins any of the Fast-Track Qualifier races for either the Sprint or the Mile categories, the filly will be qualified for the final of that specific category, or for the Fillies and Mares Final.
* A horse must run a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland and France; or twice on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland, France and once on dirt in Dubai during the qualifying period between October 23, 2018 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday, April 13, 2019) and then be rated high enough to ‘make the cut’ in a final by order of its BHA Rating.
Lingfield Park Racecourse
Lingfield Park launched the newly resurfaced Polytrack in October, 2012, showing strong commitment to the future growth of All-Weather Racing in the UK.
This investment, complemented by the regeneration of the famous racecourse (construction of a £5.5 million grandstand and 4* Marriott Hotel), put Lingfield Park firmly on the map as a major state-of-the-art racing, conference and leisure destination with facilities to match any in the country.
Best known as a winter All-Weather Flat course, Lingfield Park also stages Flat racing in the summer and Jump racing both on turf. Located in a 450-acre estate and opened in 1890 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), who also agreed to let Lingfield Park incorporate the Prince of Wales feathers into its official heading, the course initially held Jump racing only.
The Jockey Club granted permission for Flat racing to be held in 1894 and it has continued ever since.
In 1982, the new owners installed flood defences on the estate to alleviate flooding. A golf course was developed and this opened in June, 1987.
Lingfield Park was granted permission to construct a 10-furlong left-handed Equitrack All-Weather track on the inside of its turf course in December, 1988. The Surrey racecourse staged Britain’s first fixture on an artificial surface on October 30, 1989.
Rapporteur was one of the first specialist performers on Equitrack, racking up 14 victories on the surface. Trained in Lambourn by Charlie Elsey for most of his career and owned by Richard Berenson, Rapporteur also won five times on turf at Lingfield Park. In fact, all his successes came at Lingfield Park, despite racing 33 times at other courses.
Other specialists at Lingfield over the years have included Respectable Jones, an 11-time winner between 1990 and 1994, Krystal Max, who scored 13 times from 1995 to 2001, Bank On Him, successful a dozen times between 1999 and 2005, and Chjimes, a 13-time winner between 2008 and 2012.
The Winter Derby was introduced at Lingfield Park in 1998, with the first running going the way of future globetrotting star Running Stag. Trainer Philip Mitchell’s flagbearer won three Grade Two events in America, as well as running in Dubai, France, Germany and Hong Kong.
The Winter Derby was given Listed status in 1999 and upgraded to Group Three level in 2006. The 2005 winner Eccentric was a seven-time scorer at Lingfield Park and also a Group Three turf winner at Windsor. He was subsequently sold to race in North America and captured a Grade Two race at Woodbine in Canada.
Recent winners of the 10-furlong contest have included Farraaj, who went on to run well in Group One races in Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai following his Lingfield Park win in 2013.
Tryster, an impressive victor of the Winter Derby in 2015, also progressed to success on the international stage, with victory in Dubai’s Group One Jebel Hatta Stakes in 2016.
The surface at Lingfield Park changed to Polytrack from Equitrack in November, 2001 and this switch was the key to attracting better horses onto the All-Weather, whether to race or to work.
A prime example of the latter came the following March when Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien brought a six-strong team, headed by Breeders’ Cup hero Johannesburg and 2,000 Guineas favourite Hawk Wing.
The sextet also included Sir Alex Ferguson’s Rock Of Gibraltar, who went on to win five consecutive Group One races, Sholokhov and Racing Post Trophy runner-up Castle Gandolfo. After the workout, O’Brien described the surface as: “brilliant, absolutely first class – the jockeys said it rode beautifully.”
Castle Gandolfo returned in April, 2002 to win the inaugural running of the International Trial, which has been captured by Dubawi Gold (2011) and Van Der Neer (2013), and both Richard Hannon-trained colts went on to be placed in the Group One colts’ Classic, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The International Trial was last run in 2017, with the new Listed Burradon Stakes established the same year.
Lingfield Park stages nine other Listed races each year on Polytrack, which have been won by subsequent Group One scorers Decorated Knight, Paco Boy and Gitano Hernando in recent years.
It also worth paying close attention to maidens. Snow Fairy captured a six-furlong maiden in July, 2009, and subsequently annexed six Group Ones around the world, while Monterosso took a mile maiden the following January and progressed to land the 2012 Dubai World Cup, worth US$10 million.
Simple Verse and Harbour Law started their careers in middle distance maidens at Lingfield Park during All-Weather Championships and, by the end of the year, progressed to win the final British Classic of the season, the St Leger on turf at Doncaster, in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Lingfield Park made history on April 18, 2014, by becoming the first English course to stage racing on a Good Friday. A sell-out crowd attended the inaugural All-Weather Championship Finals Day, which boasted a total of £1 million in prize money, making it the richest-ever day of All-Weather racing.
The All-Weather track at Lingfield Park runs around the inside of the turf course. It is a left-handed loop and follows much the same line as the turf course in the home straight and the back straight, but turns sharply for home at the end of the back straight and is 1m 2f in length.
The track gently rises to a slight hill at the start of the back straight before running downhill around the bottom corner and into the home straight where it levels off. The result is that the 1m, 7f, 6f and 5f starts are all downhill, which contributes to Lingfield being the sharpest of Britain’s All-Weather tracks.
Record Times at Lingfield Park, Polytrack
Date Set
6f 1y
1m 8.32s
7f 1y
1m 21.90s
1m 1y
Lucky Team
1m 33.90s
1m 2f
2m 0.99s
1m 7f 169y
Winning Story
3m 15.18s
Timeline of All-Weather Racing
All-Weather racing in the UK is first considered as a result of the harsh winter of 1984/85 during which 72 Jump racedays were lost.
The Jockey Club receives seven proposals for the construction of All-Weather tracks in February, 1987.
In December, 1988, Lingfield Park in Surrey is given permission to install an Equitrack surface on the inside of its turf track. Equitrack hit the headlines in 1986 with the opening of the Al Bahathri gallop in Newmarket. It is also the surface of choice for the world’s first All-Weather racetrack installed at Remington Park, Oklahoma, USA.
Southwell, at Rolleston in Nottinghamshire, is the second racecourse in Britain to be given the go-ahead to construct at All-Weather track in June, 1989.
The first All-Weather raceday in the UK is staged at Lingfield Park on October 30, 1989, with the opening race going the way of the Conrad Allen-trained Niklas Angel, partnered by Richard Quinn and owned by Peter Charalambous. Southwell’s first All-Weather Flat fixture takes place nine days later. It is the first racecourse in the world to utilise Fibresand on the outside of its turf course. The surface was already installed at all four of Britain’s major training centres – Epsom, Lambourn, Malton and Newmarket.
During its first year, All-Weather racing generated an estimated £580,000 in extra revenue through levy payments.
Wolverhampton Racecourse also opts for Fibresand when replacing its turf course and stages the first floodlit fixture in the UK on December 27, 1993.
By 1995, there are 125 All-Weather racedays spread across the three venues. Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Stakes, introduced in December, 1995, is the first Listed race on the All-Weather in Britain.
Lingfield Park’s Winter Derby, first run in 1998, gains Listed status a year on & becomes a Group Three in 2006.
Advances in All-Weather surfaces sees Lingfield Park replace Equitrack with Polytrack, costing £3 million.
Wolverhampton switches to Polytrack in October, 2004.
On July 9, 2005, Lingfield Park stages the Group Three Silver Trophy Stakes, the first Group race run on the All-Weather in Britain. The mile contest goes the way of Geoff Wragg-trained Autumn Glory, ridden by Steve Drowne and owned by Mollers Racing, who holds off subsequent Group One victor Court Masterpiece by a neck.
The Jockey Club-owned Kempton Park, at Sunbury on Thames in Middlesex, moves its Flat programme on to a floodlit Polytrack surface in March, 2006.
The same year also sees a third of all Flat fixtures (285 + 24 mixed) in the UK take place on All-Weather surfaces.
Dundalk, Ireland’s only All-Weather track, stags its first raceday on Polytrack on August 26, 2007.
Great Leighs opens in April, 2008, with an eight and a half furlong Polytrack circuit, the first new racecourse to race in Britain since Taunton (1927), but the Essex track goes into administration in January, 2009.
The inaugural All-Weather Championships, aimed at improving the image & quality of All-Weather racing, commences in October. The initiative sees £2 million of extra prize money injected into the All-Weather season by ARC, with a £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, 2014.
A consortium headed up by Betfred owner Fred Done buys Great Leighs in December, 2013 and renames the track Chelmsford City Racecourse.
On April 18, 2014, the first All-Weather Championships Finals Day is held at Lingfield Park, with a sell-out Good Friday crowd of 8,777 witnessing the best All-Weather racing ever staged up to then in Britain.
On April 28, 2014, it is announced that Wolverhampton will be the first course in Britain install the Tapeta racing surface. The track holds its first fixture on the new surface on August 11.
Racing resumes at Chelmsford City on January 11, 2015, with subsequent Group One winner and All-Weather Champion Tryster winning the first race at the re-opened course.
The third All-Weather Championships Finals Day happens at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 25, when a record crowd of 10,319 attends.
Following a near £12-million investment by ARC, Newcastle Racecourse hosts its first All-Weather fixture on May 17, 2016. The Tapeta track includes the only floodlit straight mile in the UK.
Good Friday, April 14, sees two other ARC tracks, Newcastle (Tapeta) & Bath (turf), race for the first time alongside the fourth £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day Lingfield Park.
The fifth All-Weather Championships takes place on Good Friday, March 30, and French-trained horses win three of the six Finals, the greatest rate of overseas success. There was one French-trained winner in 2015, while an Irish raider succeeded in 2016.
Southwell becomes the first European racecourse to install LED lighting, with the initial evening fixture happening at the Nottinghamshire course on Saturday, March 30.
All-Weather Graduates
A host of top-class horses have progressed through the All-Weather Championships and then gone on to shine domestically and on the international stage.
Sporting the colours of owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and trained by John Gosden, Enable won on her racecourse debut, a maiden at Newcastle during Season Four of the All-Weather Championships. Within a few months, she went on to capture the Listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester before becoming the first Classic winner to feature in the All-Weather Championships by taking the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, followed by the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York. Enable’s star rose even further when ended 2017 with victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in 2017 before sensationally defending her Arc crown back at Longchamp in October, 2018.
Owned by Bjorn Nielsen and trained by John Gosden, Stradivarius broke his maiden tag at Newcastle during Season Four of the All-Weather Championships. Through 2017, he won the G2 Queen’s Vase at Ascot and G1 Goodwood Cup, whilst also being placed in the St Leger at Doncaster and on British Champions Day in the Long Distance Cup. 2018 proved even more fruitful for the son of Sea The Stars with victory in the Yorkshire Cup, the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, and in doing so he became the first winner of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million bonus.
City Light
Trained by Stéphane Wattel and owned by Jean-Louis Bouchard, French raider City Light made his first start on British soil a winning one with victory in the £150,000 All-Weather Sprint Championship race on Good Friday 2018, following three runs, including one win, on French tracks during the fifth All-Weather Championships season. He went on to triumph on turf in the G3 Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp and finish a short-head runner-up in the G1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
Decorated Knight
The Roger Charlton-trained Decorated Knight was already a winner at Listed and G3 level when he won the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park during Season Four of the All-Weather Championships in 2017. He immediately progressed to G1 success in Dubai, before returning to Europe, later adding two more G1 victories in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh and the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Toast of New York
Originally owned by Michael Buckley, the Jamie Osborne-trained Toast of New York won his maiden at Wolverhampton in November, 2013. He went onto a glittering dirt career that included winning the G2 UAE Derby in Meydan, Dubai, before an agonising nose second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, 2014.
Jack Hobbs
Trained by John Gosden, Jack Hobbs was a maiden winner at Wolverhampton during Season Two of the All-Weather Championships. Following that victory, he took the 2015 Irish Derby at The Curragh, before coming third in the 2015 Champion Stakes at Ascot. His career continued to flourish with another G1 win in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, 2017.
Cross Counter
Future top stayer Cross Counter made an impressive start for trainer Charlie Appleby in last season’s All-Weather Championships, readily winning two novice races at Wolverhampton. After being switched to turf for the 2018 season, the Godolphin colt continued his ascent, taking the G3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, before progressing to G1 glory with a storming success in Australia’s most famous race, the Melbourne Cup. He began 2019 perfectly when winning the G2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan, Dubai, on March 30.
All-Weather Championships Sponsors
Betway, Ladbrokes and Sun Racing are Category Sponsors, with Be Wiser Insurance the Official Partner of the All-Weather Championships.
The Betway Group is a leading provider of first-class entertainment across sports betting, casino, bingo and poker. Launched in 2006, the company operates across a number of regulated online markets and holds licences in the UK, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Ireland. Based in Malta and Guernsey, with support from London, Isle of Man, Stockholm and Cape Town, the Betway team comprises over 1,000 people. Betway prides itself on providing its customers with a bespoke, fun and informed betting experience, supported by a safe and secure environment. Betway is a member of several prominent industry-related bodies, including ESSA, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) and the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), and is accredited by trusted international testing agency eCOGRA. It is also a partner of the Professional Players Federation (PPF) and is a donor to the Responsible Gambling Trust. In addition to the flagship Betway brand, the Betway Group operates a number of other brands including Dream Bingo, Bingo on the Box, Spin Casino and the Hippodrome Online Casino.
Ladbrokes provides customers with exciting, simple and responsible betting and gaming experiences, delivered by the most passionate and committed people in the industry. Our origins lie in the traditional business of providing betting services to generations of British customers on horse and greyhound racing. Today, we have the biggest UK high street presence in the industry, a growing online business and leading positions in some of the world’s best markets internationally. Our acquisition by GVC has opened up unrivalled opportunities for further growth and success. As one of the largest betting and gaming companies, and a member of the FTSE 100 index, we aim to meet the highest standards in everything we do, from the way we run our business, to how we support our people, our customers and the communities we work in. With the best betting and gaming brands and the best people, we aim to lead the field and shape the future of responsible gambling.
Sun Racing forms part of The Sun’s stable of sport and entertainment products. It complements News UK’s Premier League and Scottish Premier League highlight video rights as well as the company’s acquisition of Wireless Group, which owns stations TalkSport and TalkSport 2.
Be Wiser Insurance is an award-winning independent insurance broker which was set up in 2007 and has enjoyed tremendous growth by offering competitively priced motor, home and business insurance policies backed up by excellent service levels. Growing to more than 700 staff, the company has approximately 220,000 clients. The company focuses on motor, home and business insurance.
About ARC
Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is the largest racecourse operator in the UK. In 2018 ARC Group racecourses hosed 552 fixtures (570 in 2019), with 1.2 million people attending racing at one of ARC’s racecourses each year.
ARC is made up of the following 16 racecourses: Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester.
ARC runs four of the six all-weather racecourses in the UK offering three different types of surface for horses to run on: Polytrack at Lingfield Park, Fibresand at Southwell Racecourse and Tapeta at Newcastle and Wolverhampton Racecourses – the only Tapeta racing surfaces in Europe.
In 2013 ARC pioneered the All-Weather Championships which see horses compete throughout the winter for the chance of qualifying for a £1-million Finals Day on Good Friday at Lingfield Park. This initiative has helped raise the profile and prestige of All-Weather racing in Great Britain.
ARC hosts racing at all levels of the sport from Class 7 through to Group 1s. Doncaster Racecourse is home to the world’s oldest Classic, the St Leger, run each year in September as part of the four-day St Leger Festival as well as the Vertem Futurity Trophy, the final Group 1 of the year in Britain. Feature jump races include the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle Racecourse, the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse and Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
As well as racing, ARC also operates a hotel at Wolverhampton Racecourse, a hotel, spa resort and golf course at Lingfield Park and The Border Minstrel public house at Newcastle Racecourse in the grounds of Gosforth Park. The Hilton Garden Inn at Doncaster Racecourse opened in September, 2018.
ARC is a significant shareholder in the horseracing TV channel Sky Sports Racing which is broadcast on the Sky platform to c.14 million homes.
ARC plays a pivotal role in British Racing. It is a shareholder in British Champions Series and Racecourse Data Company; a signatory to a British Horseracing Authority’s and Horsemen’s Group Prize Money Agreement; and on the boards of the Racecourse Association (“RCA”), Great British Racing (“GBR”) and British Champion Series (“BCS”).
In 2015 ARC set up The Racing Partnership. This limited company represents the media rights of the 16 ARC owned-racecourses and the six independent racecourses Fakenham, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Ripon and Towcester.
In addition to racecourses ARC owns Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound Stadia and looks after the media interests of the Greyhound Media Group (“GMG”).
ARC employs 650 permanent staff and engages with 3,500 casual staff for racing and events across its racecourses.  More information about ARC can be found at
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