Through the wind and the rain, All-Weather racing has become more popular among the betting public in recent years, with the All-Weather Championships being launched in 2013 to help promote the code, attract a higher class of horse and offer sizable prize money for participants in the series.
It has done exactly that, with more and more trainers running their stable stars on artificial surfaces. The wonderful Enable, who returns to race again in 2020, is a perfect example of a horse who benefited from the All-Weather experience having made her racecourse debut in 2016 over Newcastle’s mile.
Ahead of today’s first 2020 All-Weather Championship fast track qualifier at Newcastle, here is a brief guide for those of you who want to improve your knowledge of the British All-Weather tracks!
UK All-Weather Courses:
Chelmsford – One of the best courses in terms of prize money and regularly attracts quality fields. The track itself is quite a fair one, suiting the longer striding galloping types, but pace does tend to hold up when the jockeys at the front avoid setting fast early fractions. Those who are towards the rear often find it difficult to make up the ground in the straight and a horse with gate speed and the ability to hold a position in the front third of the field should be your first port of call when it comes to finding a bet.
Kempton – Popular among punters across the country, Kempton hosts a number of pattern races to go along with some classy handicaps. It is generally quite a fair track with horses capable of winning from anywhere but it’s worth noting that the inner track, over which 5f and 1m 2f races are run, has a much shorter home straight. Being drawn low can be a major plus-point and if your horse misses the break, it’s frequently game over. On the outer course, no such issues are as prevalent but low is preferred.
Lingfield – The sharpest test on offer, with speedier types who travel and possess a turn of foot often seen kicking clear off the final bend and proving gone beyond recall. Adam Kirby’s early attacks can pay major dividends when he’s on the right type of horse and it’s no surprise he has ridden 123 winners here in the past 5 years. In terms of the draw, nothing stands out too much; middle to low is slight advantage over 5f & 6f but it is not particularly significant. The makeup of the race/pace is more important.
Newcastle – This is the newest of the All-Weather venues with the track changing from turf to tapeta in 2016 and the straight mile provides a stern test of stamina with hold up types regularly getting enough time to flash home and catch those who are ridden more prominently. High draws can be beneficial in bigger fields over 5f & 6f and having a horse with the ability to stay further than the bare trip on offer is never a negative. Jockeys to keep an eye on here include PJ McDonald, Joe Fanning and Ben Curtis.
Southwell – A unique course due to the fact that the fibresand surface in use is not present anywhere else. It is the slowest of the artificial surfaces and can yield wide-margin winners and strung out fields. Again, gate speed and early pace are major advantages, especially over shorter distances and out-and-out hold up horses often struggle to make their usual late impacts. From trips of 6f to a mile, it can be beneficial to be drawn high whilst US sires have the best records with their progeny here.
Wolverhampton – The other track to use a tapeta surface having changed from polytrack in 2014 and whilst it is generally a fair place to all types of racehorses, breaking from the stalls at pace and holding a forward position can be advantageous. The 5f, 7f and extended mile trips see low-to-middle drawn runners make life easier for themselves but horses can win from anywhere. A trainer who often excels with his runners here is Tom Dascombe, who boasts a 16% strike-rate and £75 level stakes profit.
If you’re looking for betting tips then check out what myracing have on the horse racing tips page!