Boxing Day racing – part of the fabric of English life during the festive season.
It’s a wonderful tradition that takes place at tracks all over the country, including Sedgefield, Wetherby, Huntingdon, Wincanton, Kempton Park, Wolverhampton, Market Rasen... and, of course, Fontwell Park.
The popular West Sussex jumps track won the right to stage an annual fixture on December 26 in 2010 – only for a heavy overnight frost on Christmas Day to put paid to their plans.
But every year since then, the meeting has beaten the weather and has entertained a crowd of thousands.
We have teamed up with Fontwell Park to offer a lucky reader or family the chance to win FOUR Premier Enclosure tickets for the track’s Boxing Day racing.
To stand a chance of winning, see the competition in this week’s (Nov 24) Observer, page 98.
This year, the Fontwell gates will again open on Boxing Day morning for the Sussex ritual as thousands of racegoers escape the Christmas celebrations and blow away some of the cobwebs.
It’s a wonderful chance to get some fresh air and walk off the Christmas pudding!
The meetings are not just about horses. They are family occasions where people mingle and socialise with old friends in the depths of winter.
To cater for this, Fontwell will have plenty going on apart from the seven exhilarating races.
The site will be transformed into a winter wonderland with reindeer, an ice rink and festive food and drink, as well as plenty of games stalls.
The atmosphere continues throughout the day as one of British racing’s most prestigious contests, the King George VI Chase at Kempton, is played on the big screen for everyone to see.
Last year, this race was won by Cue Card, a wonderful horse many Fontwell regulars have followed closely since he won his debut race at Fontwell Park in 2010. Can he win the big one at Kempton this Boxing Day?
Max Roberts, marketing manager at Fontwell Park, said: “This is always one of the most popular fixtures of the year at Fontwell Park. “If Christmas Day is all about the kids, then Boxing Day racing is certainly a chance for the grown-ups to have some fun while they enjoy seven exciting races and a festive drink or two!
“We will also have plenty here to keep the kids entertained and we encourage everyone to bring the whole family for a great day out.”
Gates open at 10am and the first race is off at 12.10pm, with the last at 3.30pm.
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