British All-Weather Tracks Given Go-Ahead

Four planned all-weather tracks in Britain have been given the go-ahead to apply for fixtures in 2006, meaning that dirt racing will become more widespread.

Great Leighs, a new racecourse in Essex, plus existing ones in Kempton, Newbury and Newmarket can gain all-weather fixtures from the British Horseracing Board.

Construction at Great Leighs has just started. Kempton hopes to start work on the new track, which will replace its existing flat turf track, in May. Jump racing on turf will continue.

Newbury and Newmarket have yet to make final decisions on their projects but have been keen in the past to embrace dirt racing.

Two other all-weather projects are also being considered – at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh in Scotland, and Sedgefield in the north.

At the moment, three of Britain's 59 racecourse have all-weather racing, Lingfield, Wolverhampton and Southwell. The first two use the Polytrack surface while horses at Southwell race on Fibresand.