Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

All-weather racing in 20th year

All weather track at Lingfield Park racecourse
Trainer Jim Boyle said the sandy track allowed better planning for races

Celebrations to mark 20 years of all-weather racing have taken place at Lingfield Park racecourse in Surrey.

Thousands of people attended a special race meeting, where race-goers were charged 1989 entry fees.

Anyone who was still in possession of a racecard from its first all-weather meeting on 30 October 1989 received free admission.

Trainer Jim Boyle said people had an image of racing being on lush grass, but the sandy track was better.

He said: "To be able to keep going all year round is fantastic.

"You can plan for your races that much better.

"With turf racing, you never quite know what you're going to get ground-wise, and you're at the mercy of the weather.

'Revolutionary time'

"With all-weather racing, you know exactly what you're going to get on a given day."

He added: "Everyone has this image of racing being on the lush green grass, but when you're trying to run a business and run things day-to-day, all-weather racing is fantastic for us."

Racecourse spokeswoman Kate Hill said the past 20 years had been a revolutionary time for racing.

She said: "We've seen a lot of changes and a lot of improvements."

Many people who had been involved since the early days had been invited back to the racecourse for top-class racing to mark the anniversary, she added.

"It's significant of how far all-weather racing has come from a fairly lowly product in the early days to now, when you get highly-rated horses running all the time," she said.

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Anniversary celebrations take place at Lingfield Park



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