The Importance Of All-Weather Racing

Understanding All-Weather Racing

As we move into December, the weather has certainly taken a turn and you’re already needing to get those winter clothes back out and wrap up warm! Unfortunately, the cold weather does have a negative impact on racing, with plenty of meetings abandoned due to the freezing temperatures. Newcastle’s card on Saturday has sadly been lost to the weather, meaning we have to wait that little bit longer to see the mighty Constitution Hill in action. 

Thankfully, after a week-long break (not the best timing!), we see a welcome return to all-weather (AW) racing. The bonus of AW racing is they are far less likely to be abandoned due to the weather, although if it does reach sub-zero temperatures and it becomes a safety concern for the horses then they will always put the horses welfare first (and rightly so). 

So what is all-weather racing?

An all-weather racecourse is one that has an artificial surface designed to be used all through the year. There are currently seven AW racecourses in the UK & Ireland, which are:

  • Chelmsford City Racecourse
  • Dundalk Racecourse
  • Kempton Park Racecourse
  • Lingfield Racecourse
  • Newcastle Racecourse
  • Southwell Racecourse
  • Wolverhampton Racecourse

There are three different types of AW surfaces:

  • Polytrack – The most popular choice of surface for AW racecourses. It is a fast surface with little to no kickback, and is seen as the fairest surface for horses to race on. Polytrack is used at Chelmsford, Kempton and Lingfield in the UK, and is also used at Ireland’s only AW course at Dundalk. 
  • Tapeta – Very similar to polytrack, and is seen to be close to what ‘good’ ground is on a turf track. It’s a more versatile surface than polytrack that still offers virtually no kickback. Tapeta is used at Newcastle and Wolverhampton. 
  • Fibresand – A much slower surface than Polytrack and Tapeta, which means it’s a lot harder work for the horses. It is seen to be close to ‘soft’ ground on a turf track, and is completely different to the other two surfaces, due to it producing a lot of kickback. Southwell is the only racecourse in the UK to use fibresand.  

Our Racing Club syndicate horses are no strangers to the all-weather, with Letmelivemylife already a five-time winner on the AW, whilst Greycee Bell made her promising debut on the polytrack at Lingfield last month.  Our latest addition Dayzee is also a two-time winner on the all-weather, so it’s safe to say we’re big fans of AW racing!

All being well, Greycee Bell is entered to race on the tapeta at Wolverhampton on Tuesday and we’re hopeful of a big run. She made a highly promising debut which saw her record the top speed out of all the runners, and she should be able to build on that run and go even closer on Tuesday. 

We’re also expecting Letmelivemylife to run within the next fortnight too, so it’s an exciting time for all at Racing Club and we’ll hopefully have another visit to the winners enclosure in the near future!

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