Arena Racing Company (ARC), the UK’s largest racing operator, has announced two bonus schemes including a £1 million pot available to all-weather horses over the winter, in order to boost prize money.

ARC will now offer a winner’s bonus across all Class 4, 5 and 6 flat races with a minimum first prize of £5,500, £5,000 and £4,000 respectively, regardless of age, race type or surface.

That comes alongside a £1,000,000 bonus pot available to owners, trainers, jockeys and racing staff throughout the new All-Weather Championships season.

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Arena Racing Company CEO Martin Cruddace has dismissed any suggestion of racing taking place behind closed doors.

This new scheme comes after recent criticism of prize money in lower class races, with field sizes also dropping at the same time.

Horses finishing in the top five in every all-weather race at an ARC racecourse will win points that go towards a Horse of the Month prize, which will pay £20,000 to the winner (£40,000 in February and March and April), as well as an end-of-season Horse of the Year prize, which will pay £100,000 to the horse with the most points overall.

The Horse of the Month competitions will be judged on points gained in the first three runs in each month.

Alongside the Horse of the Month prize, a total of £10,000 will be won by the stables connected to the top three horses each month, with a £7,000 prize for the top Jockey (by wins) at each of the four ARC all-weather racecourses across the season.

Newcastle racecourse

Image: Newcastle is one of ARC’s 16 racecourses

The top Apprentice Jockey (by wins) at each ARC all-weather racecourse at the end of the season will win a prize of £3,000.

Managing director of ARC Racing Division Mark Spincer said: “The winner’s bonus for our Class 4, 5 and 6 races that will be in place from July 1 across all of our flat racecourses will give owners a minimum prize to aim at, alongside the general increases to our flat values at these classes for the rest of 2022.

“The £1,000,000 all-weather bonus is a new scheme for 2022, and one that we hope will bring some great competition to the winter all-weather season to reward the most consistent performers across our four all-weather racecourses.”