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Season five of the All-Weather Championships starts at Newcastle on October 24

Oct 03 2017

The exciting fifth season of the All-Weather Championships commences at Newcastle on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and concludes with the £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30, 2018.

The All-Weather Championships have been a huge success since launching in 2013, improving the quality and prestige of All-Weather Racing in Britain.

Season four saw this years star filly Enable, trained by John Gosden and owned by Khalid Abdullah, begin her racing career with a smooth success in a mile Tapeta maiden at Newcastle in late November, 2016.

Enable, the highest-rated three-year-old in the world, has gone on to G1 Oaks triumphs at Epsom Downs, the Curragh and York plus a four and a half-length demolition of the colts in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth at Ascot and finishing the year as European champion after her brilliant victory in the G1 Prix de lArc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Sunday, October 1.

Decorated Knight followed up his short-head success over Arab Spring in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial on Polytrack at Lingfield Park in February, 2017, with the first of his three G1 triumphs in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan, Dubai the following month. Better still, the son of Galileo captured the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May and mowed down a top-class field to win the G1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last month.

Sovereign Debt made it third time lucky in the Sun Bets Mile All-Weather Championship on Good Friday 2017 for his new trainer Ruth Carr, having finished runner-up in the 2015 and 2016 editions. The popular grey achieved a career-high rating of 117 this summer following victories in the G2 Sandown Mile and the G3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom Downs under a penalty.

Realtra was the champion filly during the fourth All-Weather Championships, taking the 32Red Fillies & Mares Championship on Good Friday, and has carried that form onto turf with G3 successes at Fairyhouse in July and Tipperary in August.

Lancelot Du Lac, who gained his first Listed success in the Betway Cleves Stakes at Lingfield Park in February, plundered one of the most lucrative handicaps of the 2017 turf season when making all in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood in August.

Other stars to emerge from previous editions of the All-Weather Championships include G1 Irish Derby hero Jack Hobbs and G1 Breeders Cup Classic runner-up Toast Of New York, who were both impressive winners of two-year-old contests at Wolverhampton.

Simple Verse and Harbour Law started their careers in middle distance maidens at Lingfield Park during All-Weather Championships and, by the end of the year, progressed to win the final British Classic of the season, the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster, in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Season five of the All-Weather Championships is built around the same six championship categories as season four, supported again by sponsors 32Red, Betway and Sun Bets.

The categories are as follows:
Three-Year-Olds sponsored by 32Red - 6f Final
Fillies & Mares sponsored by 32Red - 7f Final
Mile sponsored by Sun Bets - 1m Final
Sprint sponsored by Betway - 6f Final
Marathon sponsored by Betway - 2m Final
Middle Distance sponsored Betway - 10f Final

All-Weather Championships Finals Day race programme, Good Friday, March 30, 2018 at Lingfield Park.
£50,000 Sun Bets All-Weather Champion Apprentice Handicap
£150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships, 1m 7f 169y
£150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies & Mares Championships, 7f
£150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships, 6f
£150,000 Sun Bets All-Weather Mile Championships, 1m
£150,000 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships, 6f
£200,000 Betway Easter Classic, 1m 2f

For the first time in 2017, All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park was supported by a £250,000 All-Weather card at Newcastle and a £175,000 raceday at Bath, both also ARC courses. This will be repeated on Good Friday, 2018.

The £250,000 card at Newcastle will once again include the £100,000 32Red Burradon Stakes. The mile contest will be the climax to the new European Road to the Kentucky Derby which was launched by Churchill Downs in August. Points will be awarded to the top four horses (30-12-6-3) and the horse who accumulates the most points overall between September, 2017 and March, 2018 will be invited to compete in the Kentucky Derby in May, 2018.

There are two ways for horses to qualify for one of the finals on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park:

* A horse can win a Fast Track Qualifier race which will ensure a FREE and GUARANTEED place in the corresponding final on Good Friday. There are four Fast Track Qualifiers in each of the six Championship Categories hosted at racecourses in Great Britain, Ireland and France;
or
* A horse must run a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland and France; or twice on the all-weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland, France and once on dirt in Dubai during the qualifying period between October 24, 2017 and the six-day entry stage for the finals (Saturday, March 24, 2018) and then be rated high enough to make the cut in a final by order of its BHA Racing

The Fast-Track Qualifiers for the All-Weather Championships 2017/18 commence on the opening day, Tuesday, October 24, on the Tapeta surface at Newcastle.

This is a new initiative, with the opening raceday having previously always been at Lingfield Park.

The Newcastle Fast-Track Qualifier is the £25,000 32Red Casino Conditions Race (3.40pm) over six furlongs for two-year-olds.

The fifth All-Weather Championships consist of 200 fixtures, incorporating all British Flat racing from Tuesday, October 24 until Good Friday, March 30, at Chelmsford City (Polytrack), Kempton Park (Polytrack, Lingfield Park (Polytrack), Newcastle (Tapeta), Southwell (Fibresand) and Wolverhampton (Tapeta).

There are again Fast-Track Qualifiers in Ireland (two at Dundalk) and France, with Cagnes-Sur-Mer and Deauville being joined for the first time by Chantilly.

Martin Cruddace, Chief Executive of Arena Racing Company (ARC), commented: The All-Weather Championships, culminating in the £1-million Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, are now an established part of the British Racing Calendar.

While the All-Weather Championships were initially the idea of ARC, we are enormously grateful to the support we have received from everyone in British Racing in helping to ensure the All-Weather Championships have been a success.

As we enter the fifth season of the All-Weather Championships, kicking off on October 24 at Newcastle for the first time, we can all look forward to enjoying another winter of exciting racing ahead of crowning six new Champions on Good Friday at Lingfield Park.

To download the All-Weather Championships Information Pack for season five, please click on this link:
http://awchampionships.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/AWC-Info-Pack-Season-5_Low-Res.pdf

The 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers are scheduled as follows:-

CATEGORY DATE VENUE RACE
3-Y-O 24 October 2017 Newcastle 6f Conditions
FILLIES 02 November 2017 Lingfield Park 8f Listed (Fleur De Lys)
MIDDLE 18 November 2017 Lingfield Park 10f Listed (Churchill)
SPRINT 18 November 2017 Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Golden Rose)
MILE 22 November 2017 Kempton Park 8f Listed (Hyde)
MIDDLE 29 November 2017 Deauville 10f Listed (Lyphard)
3-Y-O 09 December 2017 Wolverhampton 6f Conditions
MARATHON 16 December 2017 Newcastle 16f Conditions
SPRINT 02 January 2018 Newcastle 5f Conditions
FILLIES 04 January 2018 Wolverhampton 7f Conditions
MILE 12 January 2018 Dundalk 8f Conditions
MARATHON 15 January 2018 Wolverhampton 16f Conditions
3-Y-O 17 January 2018 Kempton Park 6f Conditions
MIDDLE 03 February 2018 Lingfield Park 10f Listed (Winter Derby Trial)
SPRINT 03 February 2018 Lingfield Park 6f Listed (Cleves)
FILLIES 09 February 2018 Chelmsford 8f Conditions
MILE 17 February 2018 Cagnes-Sur-Mer 8f Listed (Saonois)
3-Y-O 21 February 2018 Newcastle 5f Conditions
MARATHON 21 February 2018 Kempton Park 16f Conditions
MIDDLE 24 February 2018 Lingfield Park 10f Group 3 (Winter Derby)
FILLIES 02 March 2018 Dundalk 7f Conditions
SPRINT 06 March 2018 Chantilly 6f Prix Anabaa
MARATHON 10 March 2018 Chelmsford 16f Conditions
MILE 10 March 2018 Wolverhampton 7f Listed (Lady Wulfruna)

Key All-Weather Championship Facts

*There were 1,197 winning horses of the 1,500 races during the fourth AWC season

*Average field sizes during the fourth AWC season improved to 9.23 (8.43 first season)

*The average rating of the six winners on Finals Day 2017 was 106 (101 in third AWC season)

For further information, please contact:

Susannah Gill
Director of External Affairs
Arena Racing Company
Office: 020 7802 5120
Mobile: 07751 870 929
Email: sgill@arenaracingcompany.co.uk

Sam Cone
PR & Communications Manager
Arena Racing Company
Office: 020 7802 5120
Mobile: 07920 404 296
Email:scone@arenaracingcompany.co.uk