Significant improvements within Britain’s All Weather Track race programme are announced by the British Horseracing Board today.
Six new Listed contests, to be staged at Kempton Park, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton in February and March 2007, mark the biggest ever boost to the quality of Flat Racing outside the Turf season. The races are in addition to the Listed Spring Cup, worth £75,000 and the Group 3 Winter Derby, worth £100,000, at Lingfield Park on 24th March. Earlier this year, the latter race became the first Pattern event to be staged on an All Weather Track outside of the Turf Flat season.
BHB invited every All Weather Track to apply to stage one or more of the new races, and proposals were received last month. A proportion of the prize money for each race will come from the Development Fund, which is operated by BHB and designed to support races that fulfil a particular race planning role. The Development Fund is made up of surplus funds generated in the annual Fixture Bidding Process.
Full details of the new races, which are also included in Volume 1 of the 2007 Programme Book, published earlier this month and covering all races from 1st January to 31st March inclusive, are as follows:
Date Racecourse Race Age Distance
04/02 Kempton Park The Ladybird Stakes 4yo+ 1m
24/02 Lingfield Park The Forest Row Stakes 4yo+ 6f
24/02 Lingfield Park The Winter Derby Trial Stakes 4yo+ 1m 2f
10/03 Wolverhampton The Lady Wulfruna Stakes 4yo+ 7f
24/03 Kempton Park The Dragonfly Stakes 4yo+ 1m 4f
24/03 Lingfield Park The lingfieldpark.co.uk Sprint Stakes 4yo+ 5f
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said: “I suspect that when racing on artificial surfaces was introduced to Britain in 1989, one of the last considerations was creating a black-type programme on such a surface. The first Listed race was not run until 1995, but we have since had more than a decade of experience of programming better class races on artificial surfaces and are keen to develop a well-balanced programme for horses up to Pattern class over the winter.
“BHB aims, as far as possible, to give connections every reason for keeping quality horses in training in Britain throughout the year. This aim will obviously not be achieved overnight, and developments such as racing on Polytrack in the United States and the International Racing Carnival in Dubai present us with added considerations, but the introduction of these 6 new Listed events, ranging from 5 furlongs to a mile and a half, represents the next step in the right direction.”