Lingfield All-Weather Championships Finals Day Betting Tips – 19th April 2019

Horses Racing on an All-Weather Surface

For years Good Friday was a blank day on the racing calendar, but things have certainly changed in recent times. Not only do we now have racing on this national holiday, but for fans of all-weather action, this is just about the best single day of racing of the entire campaign.

Lingfield Park is the destination for the All-Weather Championships Finals Day, which sees the star synthetic surface performers lock horns over a range of trips. From the six furlongs of the sprint to the two miles of the marathon, there’s something for just about everyone here. All runners have battled their way through the qualifiers for a shot at the big prize money on offer, producing what looks to be a highly competitive card. Without further ado, let’s run through where our cash is going in each of the day’s seven events.

About the All-Weather Championships Finals Day

All-Weather Horse Race

All-weather racing remains something that the majority of the horse racing crowd needs to be convinced about, with many being suspicious of anything that doesn’t take place on good old-fashioned turf. The track at Lingfield is made of something called Polytrack, which is a mixture of recycled fibres, sand and recycled rubber. Other all-weather tracks are made of Tapeta, like the one at Wolverhampton, and Fibresand. Regardless of the surface, all-weather racing offers a different set of challenges to the participants than when they’re racing on turf courses.

The All-Weather Championships began in 2013, making it a comparatively recent event in the world of horse racing. Many racing lovers still think of it as a novelty more than an established, respectable meeting. It is likely to continue gaining their respect the more that all-weather events take place, not least of all because the tracks aren’t affected by the weather quite as badly as turf tracks are. Even Polytrack can’t stand up to the most vigorous of changes in the weather, of course, but it won’t get boggy with a big downfall or frozen if the temperature drops.

The All-Weather Championships

Before looking at Finals Day it’s worth offering a brief explanation of the All-Weather Championships themselves. The series was created with the aim of testing jockeys, trainers and horses all-year round, with the six all-weather courses in the UK and Ireland hosting hundreds of fixtures during the year. The hope was that a series of meetings of high quality would improve the reputation of this side of the sport.

Despite not being anywhere near as popular as turf-based racing, all-weather races make up around one fifth of the of the British horse racing calendar. The Championships get underway in October, when the weather typically begins to get worse, and continues through until March. The idea is that it allows owners and trainers to keep their horses fit and firing during the winter months, with the whole thing culmination with the All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Easter.

In 2019 the day itself was worth £1 million, making it not only the richest all-weather race card in all of Europe but also one of the richest single days of racing in the United Kingdom. The Championships feature six categories of racing, which are as follows:

  • Fillies & Mares Championships - Specifically for fillies and mares in races over seven furlongs and one yard
  • Sprint Championships - This is over six furlongs and one yard and is designed to find the best sprinters aged four and up
  • Mile Championships - The Championship final is based over eight furlongs, aiming to find the best milers
  • Middle Distance Championships - During the qualifying period the races range from ten furlongs to twelve furlongs
  • 3-Year-Old Championships - For colts, fillies and geldings aged three, with a Championship Finals race based over six furlongs
  • Marathon Championships - This is for the stayers, with the Championship Finals Day race taking place over fifteen furlongs and one hundred and sixty-nine yards

Four of the six all-weather racecourses are run by Arena Racing Company, namely Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Southwell and Lingfield Park. The others are Kempton and Chelmsford City Racecourse, operated by the Jockey Club and Betfred respectively. The CEO of ARC, Martin Cruddace, said of the All-Weather Championships that they are ‘an established part of the British Racing Calendar’, though given ARC created them he wasn’t likely to say anything different.

The All-Weather Championships Races

Traditionally taking place on Good Friday at the same time as more all-weather racing at Newcastle and turf racing at Bath, the Championships Finals Day is the culmination of the All-Weather Championships. There are seven races, with the details of each of them as follows:

RacePrize MoneyAges
Apprentice Handicap £50,000 4 Years Old +
Marathon Final £150,000 4 Years Old +
Fillies' And Mares' Final £150,000 4 Years Old +
Sprint Final £150,000 4 Years Old +
3 Year Old Final £150,000 3 Years Old
Middle Distance Final £150,000 4 Years Old +
Mile Final £150,000 4 Years Old +

The only one of the races that isn’t a final from the Championships is the Apprentice Handicap, which is, as the name suggests, a handicap race for apprentice jockeys. The rest are races that are for the best horses within each discipline, as decided by the Championships season itself.

Qualification

There are two main ways that a horse can qualify for one of the races that takes place during All-Weather Championship Finals Day. Here’s a look at each of them:

Route One

A horse needs to have run in at least three races on all-weather surfaces in the UK, Ireland or France or twice on a course in those locations and once in Dubai on the Meydan course’s dirt. They need to have run those races during the qualifying period, which normally goes from October and the six day entry period for the All-Weather Championships Finals Day races.

Another important factor is that the horse must be highly rated enough in the Official British Horseracing Authority Rating to ensure that they make the cut for the race it’s hoping to enter.

Route Two

A far simpler entry criteria comes in the form of winning a Fast-Track Qualifier, which will see the victorious horse entered into the race that it has won the qualifier for.

Each of the category of races has 4 Fast-Track Qualifier races that horses can win to get a place in the Finals Day race. For the Finals Day of 2019 they were as follows:

3-Year-Old Championships

  • Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Conditions Stakes (Newcastle)
  • Ladbrokes Conditions Stakes (Wolverhampton)
  • 32Red Conditions Stakes (Kempton)
  • Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Conditions Stakes (Newcastle)

Fillies & Mares Championships

  • EBF Fleur De Lys Fillies' Stakes (Lingfield Park)
  • Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (Wolverhampton)
  • Get A Run For Your Money With BetVictor Fillies Race (Dundalk)
  • Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (Chelmsford City)

Sprint Championships

  • Golden Rose Stakes (Lingfield Park)
  • Betway Conditions Stakes (Newcastle)
  • Cleeves Stakes (Lingfield Park)
  • Anabaa Stakes (Chantilly)

Mile Championships

  • British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes (Kempton)
  • Become The Face Of BetVictor Race (Dundalk)
  • Prix Saonois (Cagnes-Sur-Mer)
  • Lady Wulfruna Stakes (Wolverhampton)

Marathon Championships

  • Stayers Conditions Race (Newcastle)
  • Betway Conditions Stakes (Wolverhampton)
  • 32Red Conditions Stakes (Kempton)
  • Bet totequadpot At totesport.com Conditions Stakes (Chelmsford City)

Middle Distance Championships

  • Churchill Stakes (Lingfield Park)
  • Lyphard Listed Stakes (Deauville)
  • Winter Derby Trial Stakes (Lingfield Park)
  • Winter Derby Stakes (Group 3) (Lingfield Park)

About Lingfield Park

Ordinarily we don’t do an ‘About’ section on this site because most of the courses that we look at are very well known, but every now and then we see races that take place at a racecourse that isn’t necessarily on the list of popular venues. Lingfield Park fits into that category, so it’s worth taking a quick look at the course.

Located in Surrey and owned by ARC Racing and Leisure Group, Lingfield Park opened its doors in 1890 when the then Prince of Wales attended the venue and agreed to allow the feathers of his office to be used in its heading. It was a jump racing course until 1894, at which point the Jockey Club allowed flat racing to be held there too.

The War Office requisitioned the course for its own usage during the Second World War, which is the only period of time since 1890 that racing hasn’t been held at the venue. In the post-war years flooding at Lingfield became something of a problem, so the first thing that the new owners did when Ladbrokes sold the course in 1982 was to install flood defences.

Arena Leisure purchased the course in 1991 (later becoming ARC Racing and Leisure Group), making the decision ten years later to turn it into an all-weather venue. They spent £5.5 million building a new grandstand in 2004 and in 2009 Matsunosuke won on the track and became the highest rated horse to win on an all-weather course.