As part of the ARC £1,000,000 All-Weather Bonus initiative, the Horse Of The Month prize for January will be shared between War In Heaven, Tennessee Dream, Colors of Freedom, Comedian Leader, Glorious Angel, Broughton’s Flare. The sextet will receive £5,833 each out of the £35,000 purse after finishing tied at the top of the leaderboard.
In its inaugural season, the ARC £1,000,000 All-Weather Bonus runs from October 18th and will culminate on All-Weather Finals Day, on Good Friday, April 7th.
Points are awarded for finishing in 1st place down to 5th, and the horse with the most overall points at the end of the season will receive a bonus of £100,000 and be crowned Horse of The Year. Points are accrued in a horse’s first three runs in any monthly period at Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Southwell and Newcastle.
Broughtons Flare, trained by Mark Loughnane, has won each of his three starts in January at both Wolverhampton and most recently at Southwell by a nose.
Loughnane said: “He’s a bit of a quirky boy and he had a few issues last year. We’ve got those ironed out and he’s won three low-grade handicaps this year which is absolutely brilliant.”
He added: “It’s a great incentive. I know lots of trainers and owners who have been buying horses in December to try and win some bonuses. They have been absolutely awesome and every owner and trainer I speak to can’t speak highly enough about it.”
Comedian Leader won her first three starts in January at ARC tracks. The three-year-old filly is a vast improver and has risen 14lb in the handicap for trainer Gay Kelleway.
In a similar vein of form is the Michael Appleby-trained War In Heaven who will also receive a slice of the purse. He is unbeaten in three starts since stepped up to 1m1½f which has seemingly been key to the horse’s progress.
Tennessee Dream, a winner over shorter distances, has symbolised how well Charles Hills’ yard have started 2023. The Lambourn-based stable have enjoyed 7 winners from 18 runners, resulting in an impressive 39% strike-rate.
Glorious Angel has risen a remarkable 24lb after enjoying a successful start to life for new trainer Grant Tuer, while the lightly raced Colors Of Freedom has not looked back since switched to handicaps and is now unbeaten in her last four starts for Archie Watson.