There has always been a stigma surrounding All-Weather racing – that it is for poor horses, competing for low prize money, while more illustrious names either jet off to compete in exotic locations or rest up before the resumption of turf racing in the spring.

However, the All-Weather Championships have become a key part of a trainer’s mindset now more than ever before and have helped many black sheep of the racing divisions rejoin the rest of the flock.

The eighth Championships promise to be another fantastic season with the best trainers and jockeys in the UK competing throughout a busy winter leading up to Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.

Here are five horses our guest writer, Will Bowler, thinks are ones to watch throughout the course of the campaign. 

If you'd like to know more about the participating racecourses, check out our guide.

Bague D’Or (Chris Wall)

If Bague D’Or does not pop up with a win this winter then I’ll be very surprised.

He has shown more than enough in three starts to suggest he can do some damage off his handicap mark of 69.

Esticky End (David Barron)

David Barron is one of the shrewdest trainers on the circuit and does particularly well with horses matching the same profile as Esticky End.

Gelded prior to his debut at Ripon back in July, he was out again quickly at Redcar before having a break until his reappearance at Wolverhampton at the start of October where he showed lots of promise.

He has a mark of just 55 and a first trip to Southwell could well await. If he does win one, I’d imagine he’ll win a few.

Kayfast Warrior (Tom Dascombe)

Similar to Esticky End, Kayfast Warrior will now receive a handicap mark after an eye-catching effort at Wolverhampton earlier this week.

Tom Dascombe is adept at targeting races at that track, especially when they have the assistance of Richard Kingscote, who rides Wolverhampton better than anybody else.

Aljari (Marco Botti)

Aljari is a horse I saw first-hand at Southwell win a strong race in which everything went wrong for him, meeting trouble in running at various junctures.

He has been campaigned sparingly on artificial surfaces since and has had a couple of bad draws to contend with, too.

It does tend to take him a while to get rolling so the long home straights of either Chelmsford or Southwell may help, while the straight mile at Newcastle should also suit him very well.

Six Strings (Michael Appleby)

Six Strings’ career record is not great to say the least, but he is a well-handicapped horse nowadays and acts on all surfaces.

He can miss the break too but ran well in a first-time visor last time at Southwell and, given his attractive mark, should be able to land a race or two over the winter months.

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