Wolverhampton Racecourses twilight fixture on Saturday, October 26, marks the start of an All-Weather Racing revolution following the announcement earlier this week of ARCs £2-million injection of prize money and creation of the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday (April 18) next year.
Horses qualify for the six championship races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day by running in a minimum of three races at Britains four All-Weather tracks - three owned by ARC, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, and The Jockey Clubs Kempton Park - between October 26 and April 12.
The other route is to win one of the 16 WIN & YOURE IN races which give guaranteed free entry into a specific race on Finals Day - the first of these contests is at Lingfield Park on October 31.
Therefore, the first chance to begin qualifying is at Wolverhampton on October 26, when seven races are staged between 5.45pm and 8.45pm.
ARCs huge prize money boost into All-Weather Racing has resulted in 52 new Class 2 and 3 races being inserted into a much-improved race programme developed by the British Horseracing Authority.
Three of these new races are run at Wolverhampton on October 26 - a £19,000 seven-furlong handicap (Mile category) (5.45pm), a £19,000 handicap over nearly 14 furlongs (Marathon category) (6.45pm) and a £14,000 five-furlong nursery (Three-Year-Olds category) (8.15pm).
Jim Allen, Racing Director at ARC, commented today: We are very much looking forward to the seven races at Wolverhampton on Saturday, October 26 as they mark a new era in All-Weather Racing.
They, like every All-Weather race afterwards up to April 12, are qualifiers for the thrilling new All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday will be made up of six championship races and an apprentice contest. There is the Three-Year-Old race, the Sprint, the Mile, the Marathon and the Fillies & Mares, which all have prize funds of £150,000, and the Middle Distance race worth £200,000.
There will now be a narrative to the All-Weather season as we have created something exciting and joined up, which people will be able to follow easily.
All-Weather Championships Finals Day will be the richest All-Weather card ever staged in Europe, worth £1 million.
This comprises every Two-Year-Old race run in 2013 and every Three-Year-Old race run in 2014 on the All-Weather tracks over the qualifying period and culminates with the Final on Championships Finals Day over seven furlongs (1,400 metres). With prize money of £150,000, it is the UKs richest Three-Year-Old All-Weather race. Sponsored by 32Red.com.
For horseracings All-Weather speed merchants, the All-Weather Championships Sprint category will deliver the best Four-Year-Old & Older All-Weather Sprinter. The Championship Sprint Final will take place over six furlongs (1,200 metres). With prize money of £150,000, it is the UKs richest All-Weather Sprint race. Sponsored by bookmakers.co.uk.
The Mile category aims to find the best All-Weather Milers with the Championship Final over eight furlongs (1,600 metres). With prize money of £150,000, it is the UKs richest All-Weather Mile race. Sponsored by Ladbrokes.
With races ranging in distance from 13 furlongs (2,600 metres) to 16 furlongs (two miles or 3,200 metres), the Marathon category will produce the best All-Weather Stayer with the Final over 16 furlongs (3,200 metres). With prize money of £150,000, it is the UKs richest All-Weather Marathon race. Sponsored by 32Red.com.
FILLIES & MARES CATEGORY
The Fillies & Mares All-Weather category comprises every race on the All-Weather tracks over the season confined to Fillies & Mares. The Final is run over seven furlongs (1,400 metres) with prize money of £150,000. It is the UKs richest Fillies & Mares All-Weather race. Sponsored by 32Red.com.
MIDDLE DISTANCE CATEGORY
With races ranging in distance from 10 furlongs (2,000 metres) to 12 furlongs (2,400 metres), the Middle Distance category comprises all Middle Distance races during the qualifying period, with the Final - the All-Weather Champion Stakes - over 10 furlongs (2,000 metres) and worth £200,000. It is the UKs richest All-Weather Race. Sponsored by Coral.
There is a dedicated website, www.awchampionships.co.uk, for the new All-Weather Championships.