This is Newcastle’s third season as part of the All-Weather Championships. The £12 million conversion of its turf flat course into a world class Tapeta surface means that there is now an all-weather track in the north of England.
The Tapeta track was officially opened in May 2016, and has received widespread praise from jockeys and trainers as an excellent, fair and safe racing surface.
The track provides horses with the chance to experience a wide, galloping track including the only straight all-weather mile in the world.
Racing on Good Friday at Newcastle started in 2017, with the highlight the £100,000 Burradon Stakes, a now Listed race for 3-year-olds, run over a mile. Richard Fahey’s Forest Ranger was victorious in the race’s first year, with Phoenix Thoroughbred’s Gronkowski the winner in 2018. Gronkowski went on from Newcastle to finish second behind the unbeaten US Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes in June.
Since the introduction of the Tapeta, Newcastle has already welcomed a number of superstars through its gates, including Investec Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable, St James’ Palace Stakes winner Without Parole and Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Yorkshire Cup winner Stradivarius.
History was made in 2019, when Newcastle hosted the first Group One race in Britain on an all-weather surface with the rescheduled Vertem Futurity Trophy won by Kameko.
Season 9 of the All-Weather Championships will see Finals Day run at Newcastle for the first time, with six Finals and the Coral Burradon Stakes offering over £1 million in prize money.