Since the inaugural All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park in 2013, Good Friday has established itself as a hugely popular day in the British racing calendar.
Season 9 saw a new development of the All-Weather Championships, with the six category Finals being run for the first time on the tapeta at Newcastle Racecourse and the introduction of the All-Weather Vase meeting at Lingfield Park.
One of the original aspirations of the All-Weather Championships was to raise the profile of flat racing over the winter months in Britain as well as offering a marquee end of season target for horses and connections, in Finals Day.
As the event has grown, and the average ratings of horses running on Good Friday (and therefore throughout the season) has creeped up, it is hoped that this new fixture, offering over £390,000 in prize money will offer a similar target for the cohort of horses which might not otherwise enjoy an opportunity to run on Good Friday.
The programme of the All-Weather Vase meeting in 2024 will closely mirror that of Finals Day, with six handicap races at either Class 3 or 4 joining the popular race over a mile and a half for apprentice jockeys, which has been a feature of the Good Friday card at Good Friday for a number of years.
Horses will be able to qualify to run on Good Friday at Lingfield Park via three runs on an all-weather surface in Great Britain, Ireland or France and once in Dubai or, for the second time after being introduced in Season 10, in Saudi Arabia. This rule will apply to all six categories, as well as the Apprentice Handicap.
“We are delighted to announce the introduction of the All-Weather Vase fixture to Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
“Over the past eight seasons, All-Weather Championships Finals Day has done a great job at catering for the horses that perform at the top end of the winter programme, and provided some fantastic racing action for racegoers, tv viewers and punters alike. We hope that the introduction of the All-Weather Vase fixture will give those horses that run regularly over the winter, and their connections, a similar opportunity come the end of the season.
“Events have, of course, have meant that we have not been able to welcome the holiday crowds to Lingfield in the last two years, but we are confident that Good Friday remains a popular day for racegoers and families in the area and that the All-Weather Vase will provide some hugely exciting, competitive racing for them to enjoy alongside the Finals Day meeting at Newcastle.”