18 October 2021

Newcastle to stage All-Weather Finals Day next year

18 October 2021

All-Weather Championships Finals Day has been moved from Lingfield to Newcastle from 2022.

The Good Friday fixture, which was first run in 2014, has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

This will be the ninth winter of the All-Weather Championships, and the move was announced at a press conference in London on Monday – the eve of the new season.

Newcastle is still a relatively new all-weather track, with Tapeta replacing the turf in 2016, but the likes of Enable and Stradivarius both won their maidens in the north-east.

In 2019 the track became the first to host a Group One on an all-weather surface when the re-scheduled Vertem Futurity Trophy took place there because of waterlogging at Doncaster. The winner, Kameko, went on to win the Guineas.

Lingfield will now stage an All-Weather Vase card on Good Friday (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

While Lingfield has lost the feature meeting, it will still hold racing on Good Friday – with races for horses who regularly feature on the all-weather but are not rated high enough to run on Finals Day.

It will be billed as the ‘All-Weather Vase’ meeting, consisting of Class three and four handicap races, worth a total of £395,000.

Arena Racing Company, who own both Newcastle and Lingfield, also announced an increase of £4 million to prize money levels compared to 2019, up to a total of £21.7 million.

Lingfield will also stage the inaugural ‘Winter Million’ fixture which will see two days of jump racing and one day on the Flat  from January 21-23 – with the Coral Winter Oaks headlining Saturday’s card and £1 million on offer over the three days.

We are delighted to confirm our investment plans for 2022 of an extra £4,000,000 in executive contribution against 2019

ARC chief executive Martin Cruddace said: “We are delighted to confirm our investment plans for 2022 of an extra £4,000,000 in executive contribution against 2019, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the sport.

“I would, of course, like to thank racehorse owners for their continued support of our racecourses alongside our partners in the online betting sector, who have all shown considerable support for the sport over the last 18 months.”

“After what has been a difficult period for the whole industry, we want to make sure that we can continue to support our core race programme as well as embracing innovation, such as the Winter Million weekend and the All-Weather Vase at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.”

Mark Spincer, managing director of ARC’s Racing Division (David Davies/PA) (PA Archive)

Mark Spincer, managing director of ARC’s Racing Division, said: “All-Weather Championships Finals Day has, over the years, become a mainstay of the Easter programme in Britain. As we saw prior to the disruption of the last two years, people want to come racing on Good Friday – and we feel that Newcastle offers a real opportunity to develop the day even further.

“Equal to this is the popularity of the track and racing surface, as has been proved since the installation of the Tapeta in 2016. The six All-Weather Championships Finals alongside the Listed Coral Burradon Stakes will be a premier fixture befitting of the fantastic racing facilities that have been developed at Gosforth Park.”

Mick Appleby, five-time winner of the All-Weather Champion Trainer title, said: “I am really looking forward to Season Nine of the All-Weather Championships. We haven’t got all the team ready for the season yet, because we will be picking up a fair few at the sales next week. We have quite a few horses who were around last season to run again. Hopefully, they can find a bit more improvement. We will give it a good bash [the title], but it gets more difficult every year.

“I am delighted that Finals Day is moving to Newcastle. For me, Newcastle is a Group One track and the best All-Weather track in the country. One horse of mine to follow this winter is United Front – I think he’s a real nice horse, and he’ll be there on Finals Day hopefully.”

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