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Southwell Racecourse’s state-of-the-art floodlights, launched in March, will for the first time play a part in the seventh Championship season


By Advertiser Reporter


Southwell Racecourse is set to bring its own unique style of racing to the annual All-Weather Championships, which get underway on October 22.

The track’s state-of-the-art floodlights, launched in March, will for the first time play a part in the seventh Championship season, which features all-weather racing at five other tracks over almost six months.

Southwell runners are all eligible to qualify for a £1m finals day at Lingfield Park in Surrey next Easter.

Floodlit racing at Southwell Racecourse (17672515)
Floodlit racing at Southwell Racecourse (17672515)

It is another proud chapter in the racecourse’s long history as it prepares to celebrate 30 years of flat racing on its Fibresand surface, with an Irish Night under floodlights on Saturday, November 9, and an anniversarydinner on November 8.

“Floodlit flat racing has proven an exciting introduction and we are looking forward to bringing evening racing on the Fibresand to the All-Weather Championships this winter,” said Southwell’s executive director, Mark Clayton.

All-weather racing ­— the brainchild of then track owner Ron Muddle ­— began at Southwell in 1989 on a surface created by Mansfield Sand on the outside of the existing National Hunt track, which had been in existence for around 90 years and remains a popular jumping venue.

The mix of silica sand and long fibres proved both reliable and durable, allowing racing to continue even in the face of heavy frosts, and remains to this day the longest-serving artificial racing surface in Britain.

The first race on the Fibresand was actually over hurdles on November 1, 1989, won by jockey Jonathan Lower on Zulu. A week later, a fresh-faced Frankie Dettori on Crystal Pool became the first winner on the flat.

Tickets for the anniversary dinner are available from01636 814481 or www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk



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