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Mulled wine, mince pies and quest for festival bonus; Focus on Plumpton COME RACING THIS WEEK December 17-23.

Byline: David Lawrence

PLUMPTON'S jumps season continues tomorrow with its popular Christmas meeting, sponsored by Betfair.

The feature race on a tremendous card is the pounds 15,000 Betfair 'SP as it should be' Novices' Chase, the third of six qualifying races for the course's pounds 60,000 SIS Cheltenham Bonus.

The bonus is payable to connections of a horse who wins one of the qualifiers and then goes on to land any chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Champion two-mile chaser Voy Por Ustedes became the first winner of the bonus when he won this contest two years ago, en route to his victory in the 2006 Arkle Trophy.

There will be a distinct Christmas feel to the day, as always, with a special offer on mulled wine and mince pies, and traditional fare available in both the restaurant and private boxes.

Celebrations go on into the new year at Plumpton, too, as the Sussex course stages its richest race of the season, the pounds 25,000 Skybet.com Sussex National, on Sunday, January 6.

This event, run over 3m5f, is a possible stepping stone to the Aintree Grand National and there is a terrific supporting card, including the pounds 10,000 Sky Bet Novices' Chase - another qualifying race for the Cheltenham Bonus - and the pounds 8,000 EBF Sky Bet NH Novices' Hurdle.

Visiting Plumpton is always a delight, as it benefits from an idyllic location at the foot of the South Downs, within easy access of London, Brighton and the whole of the south-east, so it is no surprise it has become one of the most popular small jumps tracks in Britain.

Significant recent investment in facilities, racing surface and prize-money ensures that racegoers enjoy both excellent service and competitive sport - and not many courses allow you to get closer to the action than Plumpton.

There are discounts for advance ticket purchases - accompanied under-16s get in free - and further information can be obtained online at www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk or call 01273 890383.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2007
Words:337
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