The very successful All-Weather Championships, run for the fourth season, commence at Lingfield Park on Thursday, October 27, with six British courses involved for the first time and continuing input from overseas racing.
There is a new look to the fixtures on Finals Day, Good Friday on April 14 next year, with the £1-million programme of races at Lingfield Park being augmented by racing at two more Arena Leisure Company racecourses, Newcastle, which will stage a £250,000 All-Weather card, and Bath with turf racing worth a total of £175,000. Finals Day will be broadcast live on both At The Races and ITV4.
There are two new sponsors for the fourth All-Weather Championships, Betway and Sun Bets, both Authorised Betting Partners of British Racing, who join 32Red, an original backer from 2013, as category sponsors.
Six All-Weather Championships categories will be involved during the 2016-17 season which is from Thursday, October 27 through to the £1-million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. There were seven Categories in 2015-2016, with the two Three-Year-Old ones and Finals over five furlongs and a mile, and this has been changed into one Three-Year-Old category with a Final over six furlongs.
Every race at the six All-Weather racecourses in Great Britain - Chelmsford City (Polytrack), Kempton Park (Polytrack), Lingfield Park (Polytrack), Newcastle (Tapeta), Southwell (Fibresand) and Wolverhampton (Tapeta) - between these dates will count as qualifying runs, with Newcastle Racecourse’s new Tapeta track, which opened to plaudits on May 17 after a £12-million development, involved for the first time.
Every All-Weather Championship race at ARC’s four such tracks - Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Southwell and Wolverhampton - will include sectional timing information produced by Total Performance Data, which will be available on the At The Races website.
There are 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers, four in each of the six categories, where horses can gain automatic and free entry to the respective Finals.
The Fast-Track Qualifiers are scheduled at five British racecourses, Chelmsford City (two), Kempton Park (three), Lingfield Park (six), Newcastle (three) and Wolverhampton (four), plus three overseas racecourses, Dundalk (four), Ireland’s only All-Weather track, and two French courses, Cagnes-Sur-Mer (one) and Deaville (one).
The six 2016-2017 All-Weather Championships’ categories are:
Three-Year-Old over 6 furlongs (sponsored by 32Red) - £150,000 Final.
Fillies & Mares over 7 furlongs (sponsored by 32Red) - £150,000 Final.
Mile over 8 furlongs (sponsored by Sun Bets) - £150,000 Final.
Sprint over 6 furlongs (sponsored by Betway) - £150,000 Final.
Marathon over 16 furlongs (sponsored by Betway) - £150,000 Final.
Middle Distance over 10 furlongs (sponsored Betway) - £200,000 Final.
The seventh race on Finals Day at Lingfield Park will be a £50,000 handicap for apprentice jockeys.
The qualifying criteria for horses, who do not win a Fast-Track Qualifier, to race in any of the Finals is as follows.
a) Racing three times on an All-Weather surface in Britain, France or Ireland during the All-Weather Championships season and then having a high enough rating to make the cut.
b) Racing three times during the All-Weather Championship period, including twice on a designated All-Weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France and at least once on dirt at Meydan, Dubai.
Champions of the 2016-2017 All-Weather Championships will again receive £10,000 each. There will be seven Champions at the end of 2016-2017 All-Weather Championships season:
1) Champion All-Weather Jockey (based on the number of winners)
2) Champion All-Weather Trainer (based on the number of winners)
3) Champion All-Weather Owner (based on the number of winners)
4) Champion All-Weather Sire (based on the number of winners)
5) Winning Most All-Weather Horse (based on the number of winners)
6) All-Weather Horse of the year (based on prize money won)
7) Champion Tipster (run by At The Races)
ARC Chief Executive Martin Cruddace said today: ’’We have been thrilled with how exciting the first three seasons of the All-Weather Championships have proved.
’’We are looking forward to another exciting season of All-Weather racing ahead of the £1-million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, which this year will joined by a £250,000 card at Newcastle Racecourse and a £175,000 card at Bath Racecourse.
’’We are really pleased to welcome back 32Red as category sponsors as they continue their successful partnership with the All-Weather Championships for the fourth year.
’’This season they will be joined by new category sponsors Betway and Sun Bets. As Authorised Betting Partners, all three betting companies recognise the value of British Racing to their business and we are really excited to have the chance to be working with them all.
’’I am also pleased to welcome Be Wiser Insurance as the ’Official Partner’ of the All-Weather Championships across ARC’s racecourses.
’’As with previous years, we have received support from numerous organisations. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the British Horseracing Authority, the European Breeders Fund, our racecourse partners Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Dundalk Stadium, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Deauville, as well as France Galop and Horse Racing Ireland.
’’Most importantly, we greatly appreciate the support of owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff who are crucial to ensuring the All-Weather Championships are a continued success.
’’As we enter the 2016-17 All-Weather Championships, we can look forward to enjoying another winter of thrilling racing ahead of crowning new champions on Good Friday.