Never mind Christmas Day - it’s roll on Boxing Day at Fontwell Park

Fontwell Ladies Day 6.30 - Victory for Rachael Green on Dorset Naga (left) battling it out with 2nd place Escardo.''C121065-1 Spt Font Ladies Photo Louise Adams
Fontwell Ladies Day 6.30 - Victory for Rachael Green on Dorset Naga (left) battling it out with 2nd place Escardo.''C121065-1 Spt Font Ladies Photo Louise Adams
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MOST people are counting down to Christmas Day, but at Fontwell Park it’s the following day that’s at the centre of our thoughts, writes general manager Tracy Skinner.

Boxing Day is our biggest meeting of the day and we’re really busy getting everything in order for an event that we hope will bring 8,000 people through the gates.

The weather looks okay – it’s forecast to be quite mild so frost shouldn’t be a problem. We just have to hope the rain stays away.

The going on the course is currently heavy but hopefully that will improve by Boxing Day.

We’ve got seven races – the first at 12.20 and the last at 3.40 – and as one of only two meetings on that day in the south, we’re confident of some good fields in terms of quality and quantity.

After being frozen off in 2010, this fixture was a big success last year and that will encourage not only race-goers to return this year but, we hope, leading owners and trainers too.

We want to establish it as a real highlight of Fontwell’s annual programme and a feature of the Sussex Christmas calendar.

Apart from the racing, we have two big marquees going up in the centre of the course – one where people can eat and drink and one for children with a flying circus, giant games and other entertainment.

The fun fair featuring chairoplanes and many other rides has arrived and we’ve decided to make parking free in the centre of the course instead of our usual £5 fee.

That should help alleviate the congestion we suffered last year – although we’d encourage people to arrive early. The gates open at 10am.

Advance sales have been really strong. We’ve sold out in the Premier Enclosure although still have Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure tickets. The restaurants in hospitality have also sold out although we do still have private hospitality suites available.

After Boxing Day, we can concentrate on our 2013 programme. That’s looking encouraging too, as annual badges are outselling last year’s numbers.

See a preview and tips for the Boxing Day racing at www.bognor.co.uk on Christmas Eve. Check the website for weather updates - and for a report after racing and the rest of the local Boxing Day sport