A new category – Three-Year-Old Sprint – has been added to the exciting second AllWeather Championships season which starts at Lingfield Park on Thursday this coming week, October 30 – the 25th anniversary of the first All-Weather Racing in Great Britain. Three-Year-Old Sprint becomes the seventh of the All-Weather Championships categories, joining Three-Year-Old, Sprint, Mile, Marathon, Fillies & Mares, and Middle Distan
Jim Allen, Arena Racing Company Director of Racing, commented: “The creation of the new Three-Year-Old Sprint category arose out of consultation with horsemen and the BHA. We hope its inclusion will further support the sprint programme in Great Britain and give horses more opportunities to race throughout the winter months.
“Last year’s Championship winners have continued to prove themselves, on both synthetic and turf surfaces, here in Great Britain and abroad. We look forward to crowning more champions when the action gets underway on October 30 at Lingfield Park.”
A new betting partner, Unibet, backs the Three-Year-Old Sprint Championship plus the Sprint Championship. The three other betting partners, Coral, Ladbrokes and 32Red, were involved in the very successful first All-Weather Championships season and continue their association this time. Ed Nicholson, for Unibet, said: “Unibet is delighted to be a sponsor of the All-Weather Championships.
“One of our primary objectives since our re-launch in May, 2013 has been to ensure that those who like to bet on the horses know that Unibet offers a complete and competitive horseracing service. The All-Weather Championships association, hot on the hooves of our partnership with Royal Windsor and our sponsorship of many of the country’s racecourse starting stalls, will go some way to achieving this aim.
“The partnership provides us with an excellent platform to regularly educate that target group on the many special racing promotions and enhanced offers we have at Unibet on a daily basis.
Others in the partnership are Coral, which supports the Middle Distance Championship, while Ladbrokes sponsors the Mile Championship.32Red backs three Championship categories – Three-Year-Old, Fillies & Mares and Marathon.
George Baker, one of the leading jockeys during the first All-Weather Championships with 57 winners, is the new All-Weather Ambassador.Born on September 1, 1982, six-foot Baker is one of the tallest Flat jockeys and has to sweat daily to keep his weight down. The Group One winning rider had his first winner on the All-Weather aboard Beauchamp Magic at Wolverhampton on December 4, 1999 and has long been one of the leading jockeys on artificial surfaces.
Baker said: “The All-Weather has allowed me to progress as a jockey and I will always be grateful for the opportunities it gave me to gain valuable experience. The first All-Weather Championships raised the profile of All-Weather Racing considerably and also boosted prize money levels. I was lucky enough to win on Litigant in the 32Red Casino All-Weather Marathon Championships on Finals Day. It was fantastic to see Lingfield Park packed with racegoers and so many children present. The day was a total vindication of racing on Good Friday for the first time ever.”
Great Britain’s five All-Weather courses – Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, which are owned by ARC, plus Chelmsford City and Kempton Park – are all involved in the 2014-2015 All-Weather Championships.