There are four all weather courses in the UK,
While they come under the umbrella title of all-weather tracks there are two different types of surface. Southwell has Fibresand while the other tracks use Polytrack.
Fibresand is a heavier surface which is equivalent to racing on turf or even heavy ground on turf and produces kickback which some horses have an intense dislike for. This feels like someone kicking sand in your face at the beach ! For this reason Southwell tends to favour horses who can race prominently or who are described as strong travelers because they will avoid as much kickback as possible. You need to be convinced that a horse will see out the distance before having a bet on this surface.
Polytrack is a kind of rubberised sand and is similar to running on fastish turf and kickback is not an issue.
Form does not transfer between the two surfaces.
Turf form does not transfer to the all weather tracks so when looking for winners consider only all weather form. In addition, form does not transfer well between the different tracks because of the different surfaces and the different characteristics of each course. Saying that, the consistent nature of the surfaces means that most races can be run at a good pace and you get more truly run races. Please also note that rain has the opposite effect on the all weather surfaces than it does on turf in that when it rains the surfaces compact and become firmer. Also, in periods of long dry weather the surfaces become looser and the going becomes slightly slower.
The key to finding winners is to look for horses that do well at particular courses and trainers and jockeys who have good records at the track.
1m2f polytrack oval for 6f, 7f, 1m, 1m3f, 1m4f and 2m races.
Inner 6f track for 5f and 1m2f races.
Has floodlights for evening winter racing.
1m2f triangular polytrack surface inside the turf course.
It has an extended chute to give a 1m5f start.
There is a gradual bend into the back straight.
1m2f oval fibresand course with a 3f straight.
A chute at the start of the home straight is used for 5f races.
1m oval shaped galloping polytrack course which is almost completely flat.
Has a run in of 1.5f.
6f and 7f races start from chutes.