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Lingfield to stage inaugural Winter Million weekend

Fri 14th Jan 2022, 09:01

© Photo Healy Racing

Lingfield Park’s Clerk of the Course George Hill anticipates a dry week ahead of the inaugural three-day Winter Million meeting, which begins on Friday, January 21.

Two days of high-class National Hunt action are positioned either side of a lucrative All-Weather Championships card, with the highlights including the £100,000 Sovereign Handicap Hurdle, the £100,000 Coral Winter Oaks and the £150,000 Fleur De Lys Chase.

A full race programme for the Winter Million can be found below, with entries for the opening day of the meeting closing at noon on Saturday, January 15.

Hill said: “The going is Heavy, with a dry forecast between now and racing. We may have a few frosty mornings next week but at the moment there is nothing to worry about. It isn’t a bad forecast for January.

“The Winter Million is a new concept and me and the team down here are really looking forward to it. We have put in a lot of hours to get the idea off the ground and to have a million pounds in prize money across the three days is hugely exciting.

“We have some nice Flat meetings and good horses have turned up for the Classic trials and the All-Weather Championships, but to have this calibre of prize money and, hopefully horses, for a Jumps meeting is something new for Lingfield Park, certainly in my four and a half years here.

“Along with the BHA race planning department, we have tried to create a competitive weekend with a mixture of different races. We have a new race distance in the two-mile, six-furlong Fleur De Lys Chase on the Sunday. We also have a valuable bumper on the All-Weather on the same day.

“We are hoping to have some support from Ireland but it is difficult to know how it will play out given it is the first year of the Winter Million. I have been in contact with trainers over there — they have all the information regarding the programme and what type of ground we are going to get — and the prize money hopefully means it’s worth them travelling over.”

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