Arena Leisure, which owns three of our four functioning All-Weather courses, combined with Lingfield to put on a superb party to celebrate twenty years of racing on the A/W, at the venue where it first began. For the day they kept entrance prices at a fiver, the same as that first day in 1989, and with a large lunch for invited guests important to the story, and the day falling on half-term, a huge crowd turned out to celebrate in party mood in glorious sunshine. The racing didn’t disappoint, with two Listed races for fillies and prize money totalling almost £85,000 attracting some classy runners from top yards.
Whilst the Great and the Good – including Sir Peter O’Sullevan and Brigadier Andrew Parker-Bowles – lunched in the Pavilion in some style, racegoers enjoyed the late autumn sunshine. To mark the anniversary, the entrance fee was just £5 – the same price as the first A/W meeting back in 1989.
Arena also made awards in three categories for the horse, trainer and jockey who had made the biggest contribution to the success of All-Weather racing, with five nominees in each – details were provided in the very interesting ‘commemorative’ racecard produced for the occasion.