Following on from the announcements made on Monday 18 October, Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) can confirm prize money investment plans for Programme Book One 2022, which runs from January through until the end of April. These initiatives are part of a total of ARC’s £21.7m 2022 prize money investment plan.
As announced on Monday 18 October, ARC will make a number of investments across the flat race programme during this period, most notably with the creation of the new All-Weather Vase fixture at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, which will offer a total of £395,000 across seven races, a £145,000 increase to the corresponding fixture in 2019.
Handicaps at Lingfield Park mirroring the All-Weather Championships Finals (which will now take place at Newcastle) will offer horses in a lower rating bracket a valuable end of season target following their competition over the course of the winter.
In addition, in the flat programme, Lingfield Park will host the new £100,000 Coral Winter Oaks on Saturday 22 January, as part of the new Winter Million fixture, that will also incorporate two valuable days of jump racing either side.
Following a successful trial gallop on Monday 29 October, flat racing will return to Southwell on Tuesday 7 December, with a new world class tapeta surface. To celebrate the opening of the new surface, Southwell will host a card featuring the inaugural £40,000 Coral Winter Oaks Trial.
Flat Class 5 & 6 Division Bonus
Following further consultation with the ROA, ARC will introduce a new initiative running through January, February and March 2022 at all-weather meetings, whereby the winning connections of both elements of any Class 5 or 6 divided flat race will receive a £2,500 bonus, along with £150 paid to the yard. In addition, there will be free entries to owners for all flat races in these classes in February and March at ARC racecourses.
Jumps Programme and The Winter Million
General investment across the jumps programme will see all ARC fixtures run in January, February and March offer a minimum of £75,000 in total prize money. In addition to this, as announced on 18 October, Lingfield Park will host two new feature jump racing days’ worth £765,000, as part of the inaugural Winter Million fixture at the end of January.
Feature races across the two days will include a £100,000 Class 2 Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles on the Friday and a £100,000 Class 2 Hurdle over 2m 3f 110y on Sunday alongside a Class 2 Chase over 2m 6f, worth £150,000 on Sunday. The full programme for the three day Winter Million fixture is available here.
Managing Director of ARC’s Racing Division, Mark Spincer, said, “We are pleased to confirm our specific prize money investment plans for programme book one 2022 as part of the overall announcements that we made in October.
“Our flat programme throughout this time will continue to run above minimum values, and we very much look forward to introducing the new bonus for Class 5 and 6 divided races from January, alongside free entry for flat owners during February and March. Equally, we hope that the reshaping of Good Friday, with the All-Weather Vase fixture at Lingfield Park, will give more horses an end of season target, and an excellent day out for connections.
“Feedback from Monday’s test event at Southwell was overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to racing on what we believe will be a world class surface from 7 December. Southwell will be in a position to welcome horses who may have not travelled there before, and we hope that the investment into the flat programme there will encourage ongoing support of the course.
President of the Racehorse Owners Association, Charlie Parker, said, “This new package of investment from ARC is a very welcome initiative. As we look to continue growing our sport and ownership in the UK initiatives and investment such as this will play a vital role. The significant step up in prize money from 2019 is welcome and we are delighted to have worked on the new bonus for owners in the divided class 5 and 6 races. The waiving of entry fees will allow the races to be targeted more easily and hopefully unlock the bonus.”