Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted that Lingfield Park, Newcastle and Bath Racecourses will host racing on Good Friday for the next three years. Good Friday will be amongst a number of highlights across the 540 fixtures ARC racecourses will host in 2017.
Lingfield Park will host the fourth All-Weather Championships Finals Day on 14 April 2017, a fixture which has proved hugely popular with racegoers and horsemen in previous years. Prize money for the fixture will be £1,000,000, with six All-Weather Championships Finals, as well as a £50,000 handicap for apprentice jockeys.
Following a review of the All-Weather Championships categories, it was concluded there will be one three year old category on Finals Day, and running throughout the Championships, which will be run over six furlongs.
The All-Weather Championships Finals Day was one of the highlights of the Surrey racecourse’s calendar, with a record crowd of over 10,000 achieved in 2016. In addition, ARC look forward to working with ITV Racing in developing terrestrial television coverage from Lingfield Park, and Newcastle Racecourses.
The tapeta all-weather surface at Newcastle Racecourse has proven popular with horsemen since it opened in May 2016. Newcastle Racecourse will race for the first time on Good Friday in 2017, hosting a card worth £250,000, with a feature race of at least £80,000. The racecourse is a popular local venue, with a history of drawing strong crowds for feature meetings, such as Northumberland Plate Day and Ladies’ Day. Good Friday will offer the opportunity to develop another significant day for both racegoers and horsemen based in the North of England and Scotland.
All races that take place at Newcastle Racecourse between Thursday 27 October 2016 and Friday 14 April 2017 inclusive will count towards the All-Weather Championships, including statistics for owners, trainers, jockeys and horses.
Bath Racecourse has recently undergone a significant redevelopment of facilities to offer racegoers and horsemen a much improved raceday experience, and will also host racing for the first time on Good Friday in 2017. Given the unique nature of Bath Racecourse’s geography, the ground tends to develop earlier than at some other racecourses, which can be encouraged by fleecing through the winter. This will give the best chance possible that, despite Good Friday falling into March in 2018, there should be appropriate ground on which to host the fixture.
Bath will offer a total of £175,000 in prize money on Good Friday, which will be the racecourse’s richest ever day. Combined with the new facilities and Grandstand, it will offer another opportunity to develop a feature raceday for the South West.
As in previous years, ARC will fully support Lambourn Open Day. ARC will donate £10,000 to the day, as well as assisting with promotion of the day across ARC racecourses.
ARC’s Racing and Property Director, Stephen Higgins, said: “We have been delighted to work with BHA and horsemen to deliver what we believe is a strong plan for developing racing on Good Friday over the next three years.
“It has proven to be an incredibly popular day across several measures, including attendance and betting turnover, since its introduction in 2014, and we hope to be able to continue that. The teams at Lingfield Park, Newcastle and Bath Racecourses are very much looking forward to delivering some excellent racing with great prize money totalling £1.425 million across the three tracks.
“In addition to the fantastic experience that our racecourses will be able to host, we are happy to be bringing a key opportunity to the betting industry, who were supportive of the introduction of racing on Good Friday from the outset. We hope that we will be able to deliver a really great day that will be for the benefit of racegoers, horsemen, bookmakers and punters alike.”