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Dry week expected as Winter Million meeting approaches

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.”
 
Friday, January 21
12.50pm £30,000 Winter Million Mares' Novices' Hurdle, 2m, 
1.20pm £45,000 Winter Million EBF Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase, 2m 4f
1.50pm £50,000 Winter Million Handicap Chase, 2m
2.25pm £50,000 Winter Million Hurdle, 2m 7f
3.00pm £50,000 Winter Million Novices' Chase, 2m 7f 110y
3.35pm £100,000 Sovereign Handicap Hurdle, 2m
4.08pm £21,050 Winter Million Handicap Chase, 2m 4f
 
Saturday, January 22 (AW)
12.45pm £14,800 Read Katie Walsh On Betway Insider Handicap, 1m 2f
1.20pm £50,000 Betway Handicap, 1m 4f
1.55pm £30,000 Mansionbet Proud Partners of The AWC Handicap, 1m
2.30pm £14,800 Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Handicap, 6f
3.05pm £13,600 Betway Novice Stakes, 6f
3.40pm £100,000 Coral Winter Oaks, 1m 2f 
4.10pm £14,800 Mansionbet Beaten By A Head Handicap, 7f

Sunday, January 23
12.50pm £40,000 Winter Million Open National Hunt Flat Race, 2m (AW)
1.20pm £30,000 Winter Million Novices' Hurdle, 2m 7f
1.50pm £50,000 Winter Million Novices' Chase, 2m
2.25pm £100,000 Winter Million Hurdle, 2m 3f 110y
3.00pm £150,000 Fleur De Lys Chase, 2m 6f 10y
3.35pm £31,050 Winter Million Surrey National Handicap Chase, 3m 4f 178y
4.08pm £20,750 Winter Million Novices' Handicap Hurdle, 2m 3f 110yds
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