Two £40,000 Listed contests on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on Thursday (October 31), which like every All-Weather race up to April 12 form part of the new All-Weather Championships, have been over-subscribed.
The Listed 32Red / EBFstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies Stakes (2.50pm), the first of 16 Win & Youre In races for the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday (April 18) next year, has a maximum field of 12 after four other fillies failed to make the grade in the £40,000 event over a mile.
The £40,000 32Red.com / Choose EBF Nominated River Eden Fillies Stakes (3.20pm), run over a mile and five furlongs, has attracted a full field of 14, with four more fillies unable to take part because their ratings are lower than those in the line-up.
Arena Racing Companys £2-million plus injection of prize money and creation of the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day on Good Friday has transformed All-Weather Racing at the four British tracks that stage it.
Horses qualify for the six championship races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day by running in a minimum of three races at Britains 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. Thursdays winner of the 32Red / EBFstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies Stakes qualifies for the £150,000 32Red Fillies & Mares Stakes over seven furlongs on Good Friday.
There are two overseas challengers, Moi Lolita (Andreas Helfenbein), trained by Markus Klug in Germany, and the Collusiva (Martin Harley) from Italian trainer Giuseppe Bottis Chantilly, France, base for 32Red / EBFstallions.com Fleur De Lys Fillies Stakes.
Markus Klug commented today: We are bringing Moi Lolita over to Lingfield because she doesnt like soft ground and the owner is keen to have a runner in England.
She looks well at the moment and we wanted to try her on an all-weather surface as it is preferable to racing on turf at this time of year.
She has black type in Germany already, having finished second at Bad Doberan in August, and I hope that she can run well again.
Four-year-old Lawman filly Moi Lolita finished fourth last time out in a nine-furlong Baden-Baden Listed race on September 1, while Collusiva, a three-year Shamardal filly, has reached the frame on all three of her starts on All-Weather surfaces in France.
Champion British trainer Richard Hannon has two runners - Highclere Thoroughbred Racings Forgive, who disappointed in the Cambridgeshire last time out but won a Newmarket mile handicap in August, and Indignant, who was successful in a Newmarket seven-furlong handicap in July.
Alex Smith of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing commented: Forgive was not suited by the hustle and bustle of the Cambridgeshire, but has been very consistent this year apart from that.
She ran in this race last year when not beaten that far (just over three lengths back in eighth) and we would love to get some black type for her. She has won at Kempton Park on the Polytrack so the surface is not a worry.
She has a good draw (1), Silvestre de Sousa, who partners her, is in good form, and she will be ridden positively.
Jim Allen, ARCs Racing Director, commented: It is great the two valuable Listed races at Lingfield on Thursday have been so popular which shows the strong demand for All-Weather Racing.
The Win & Youre In concept is an exciting one for the All-Weather Championships, giving a guaranteed place with no entry fees in the specified race on Finals Day.
This is the only one for the £150,000 32Red Fillies & Mares Stakes over seven furlongs on Good Friday and has succeeded in attracting an over-subscribed field.