The merger of companies Arena Leisure plc with Northern Racing has led to the formation of the UK’s largest racecourse operator, Arena Racing Company (ARC).

ARC now operates approximately 38% the UK fixture list and is responsible for racing at 16 venues, which it also owns: Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Folkestone, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

Through its ownership of Doncaster Racecourse, ARC is also responsible for hosting the world’s oldest Classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger (15 September).

Tony Kelly, managing director of ARC, said: “September will be a busy month with the Ladbrokes St Leger taking centre stage. Prize-money this year is a record for the race itself at £550,000 and, with the new deal with Ladbrokes only in its first year, we are committed to increasing prize-money for this race over the course of the next three years.”