Often known simply as Lingfield, Lingfield Park Racecourse is best-known to most in the racing world as a winter all-weather flat racing venue. Given the fact that there are only six all-weather courses in the United Kingdom, as opposed to the usual turf, it is hardly surprising that Lingfield stands out. The all-weather course is the most used, but there is also a turf track at Lingfield that can be used to host National Hunt events, with the all-weather track being too hard to host jump racing. In fact, it is the only course in the UK that hosts flat racing on turf, flat racing on an all-weather track and jump racing.
Fixtures at Lingfield Park Racecourse
Arguably the most important meeting held at the Lingfield Park track is the Derby & Oaks Trial. As the name suggests, this meeting presents horses with the opportunity to take part in trial races ahead of two of the Classics in the racing calendar – the Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks at the Epsom Downs Racecourse. The trial for the Derby has been won by future Derby winners a few times, including by April The Fifth, Mid-Day Sun and High-Rise, so it isn’t to be missed if you’re looking for some clues about what to opt for when the Classic is run later in the year.
On a similar note, there have been winners of the Oaks who have enjoyed success in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield first, so don’t discount the race simply because it isn’t the main event. Backers of User Friendly, Ramruma and Lady Carla would all tell you that they watched the Oaks Trial before enjoying their success in the main event; even if they’re not always telling the truth. There is no doubt that this is one meeting that you’ll want to give your concentration to if you’re planning on enjoying the Classics themselves when they take place later in the season.
The other big meeting that Lingfield is known for is the All-Weather Vase. Given the fact that Lingfield Park made history when it became the first course to host a full day of all-weather racing in 1989, it is fitting that one of the season’s most important all-weather races is held there. It takes place alongside the All-Weather Championship, which is run at Newcastle Racecourse. The idea is that the Vase should mirror finals day, with similar races being run at both locations. The hope is that meetings will increase the profile of flat racing in the winter months, which are traditionally for jump racing.