By Simon Jackson at Lingfield Park.
Godolphin won both Listed races at the launch of the second All-Weather Championships as Lingfield Park celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first British race meeting staged on an artificial surface.
Lingfield created history on October 30, 1989 when they held the first all-weather meeting in the UK and made history again this year when they became the first track in England to race on a Good Friday; when hosting the inaugural £1million All-Weather Championships Finals.
The new series commenced with the key requirements for qualification for the 2014-15 finals in place; horses must race a minimum of three times on the all-weather in Britain at Lingfield, Kempton, Wolverhampton, Southwell or Chelmsford City. This necessity has though been broadened to permit a maximum of one run on dirt at Meydan, or on synthetic surfaces at Dundalk, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.
However a certain route to the final is to win one of the Fast Track Qualifiers which are decided at the five UK tracks and for the first time also at Dundalk, Cagnes-Sur-Mer and Deauville.
The first of them, a Listed contest over one mile, was staged on Thursday and won by the Charlie Appleby-trained Tearless for Adam Kirby.
Godolphin completed the double when landing the Listed 13 furlong contest with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Hidden Gold whose victory impressed winning jockey Frederik Tylicki.
“She is very honest and very tough and well done to the team really,” Tylicki said.
“I spoke to Mr bin Suroor this morning and he was very keen on her. She has been working very well at home and she travelled around here really sweet.
“I had to give her a chase early on to get going but once she is going she finds plenty for you.
“They went an honest gallop and I don’t think there would be many hard luck stories really.
“The best horse won on the day. She has a great attitude and she is very willing and that makes my job much easier.”
Lingfield’s owners, Arena Racing Company (ARC), had earlier revealed that a new championship category – a three-year-old sprint – would be added to the three-year-old 1600m, sprint, mile, marathon, fillies & mares and middle distance races.
The inclusion of the new category boosts total prize money to £1.1million for Finals Day which will be televised live for the first time next year and ARC managing director Tony Kelly has high hopes for the future of all-weather racing in the UK.
“I think all-weather racing has come a long way in 25 years and a lot of the world’s championships are run on a synthetic or dirt surface, such as this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup in America,” Kelly said.
“The UK has not anything to rival that and it really is our ambition to put the All-Weather Championships up there with those events and on a world stage.
“We achieved more than we thought in year one of the All-Weather Championships and so we want to go even further forward this season.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.