Arena Racing Company
Arena Racing Company, also called ARC Racing and Leisure Group is a UK private company, created in 2012 by the merger of Arena Leisure and Northern Racing. It owns and operates 16 racecourses in Great Britain, accounting for 39% of British racing fixtures. It also operates hotels at Wolverhampton Racecourse and Lingfield Park Racecourse and golf courses at Lingfield, Southwell and Newcastle. In May 2017 ARC acquired both Sunderland Greyhound Stadium and Newcastle Greyhound Stadium from William Hill.
|Industry||Leisure, Horse racing|
|Predecessor||Arena Leisure, Northern Racing|
|David Thorpe (Chairman)|
|Owner||David and Simon Reuben via Reuben Brothers|
The Chief Executive Officer Is Martin Cruddace who was formerly the Chief Legal Officer for Betfair. Cruddace is a member of the Racehorse Owners Association with a share in several racehorses, including a share in the Martin Pipe trained Big Occasion who won the Midlands National at Uttoxeter Racecourse in 2013.
David Thorpe was appointed Chairman in April 2014. He was previously Chairman of Arena Leisure plc, as well as the Racecourse Association Ltd.
Arena Racing came under fire following an investigative report published by The Times in which current and former employees raised concerns about working and safety conditions.
Arena Racing Company operates sixteen racecourses in Great Britain.
- Ffos Las
- Fontwell Park
- Great Yarmouth
- Lingfield Park
- Royal Windsor
After the purchase of Ffos Las in May 2018, ARC also expressed interest in acquiring Towcester racecourse and greyhound track.
In August 2018, owners of Arena Racing, David and Simon Rubens announced plans for a multi-million-pound redevelopment of Newcastle Racecourse and High Gosforth Park. Improvements will include a new events centre at Newcastle and a residential development at High Gosforth Park.
On the 1 September 2016, seven independent racecourse (Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Ripon and Towcester) led by ARC (Arena Racing Company) and started a television service known as The Racing Partnership (“TRP”). Racing from the six Arena courses including Doncaster, Southwell, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton became available on TRP from 1 January 2017 with all other ARC and independent racecourses being added to the schedule over the following year. This service is a competitor to Sports Information Services (SIS) who since 1987 has been providing racecourse coverage into the LBO's.
Since the launch of the service a number of leading high street bookmakers have chosen not to take the TRP service, and instead provide their own 'off tube' commentary.
As operators of three of the five All-Weather Racecourses in Britain, ARC were central to the launch of the All-Weather Championships in 2013. The All-Weather Championships run throughout October and climax on Good Friday at Lingfield Park Racecourse. The All-Weather Championships are sponsored by bookmakers, Coral, Ladbrokes, Unibet and 32Red.
The racecourses involved in the All-Weather Championships are Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton in Great Britain as well as Dundalk in Ireland and Cagnes-sur-Mer and Deauville in France.
The All-Weather Championships are contested over seven categories:
- 3 Year Old Championships (8 furlongs)
- 3 Year Old Sprint (5 furlongs)
- Sprint Championships (6 furlongs)
- Mile Championships (8 furlongs)
- Marathon Championships (16 furlongs)
- Fillies & Mares Championships (7 furlongs)
- Middle Distance Championships (10 furlongs)
Finals Day is the richest All-Weather Raceday in Europe with over £1million in prize money on offer.
To qualify to run on Finals Day, horses must run either a minimum of three times on the All-Weather surfaces in Great Britain, Ireland or France during the Qualifying period and carry an Official BHA Rating high enough to enter or win a Fast Track Qualifier, which will guarantee free entry.
- Brooks, Charlie (25 November 2012). "The shadow behind the British Horseracing Authority's good news on prize money". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Arena Leisure Company". Arena Leisure Company. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "ARC ANNOUNCE ACQUISITION OF NEWCASTLE AND SUNDERLAND GREYHOUND STADIUMS FROM WILLIAM HILL PLC". Arena Racing.
- "Arena Racing Company". www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- Writer, Mark Souster, Racing (2017-11-23). "Times investigation: Stalls handlers' fears over safety". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- Writer, Mark Souster, Racing (2018-08-17). "ARC in market for stricken Towcester". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "Expansion plans for Newcastle Racecourse". BBC News. 2018-08-25. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "News". Racing Post.