Market Rasen Racecourse is gearing up for one its most popular jump racing occasions of the year, the Rand Farm Park Boxing Day At The Races meeting.
More than 9,000 racegoers are expected to descend on the Lincolnshire track for the traditional festive meeting, with free admission for accompanied under 18s.
Highlight of the packed programme of jump racing is the annual Clugston Lincolnshire National for which, like the ultimate Aintree race, stamina is crucial to stay the three-and-a-half-mile distance; the longest in the racecourse’s calendar.
There have been two Lincolnshire-trained winners in the last six years in Soudain and Gonalston Cloud, while race-goers with longer memories will recall Victory Gunner’s hat-trick of wins between 2005 and 2007.
Every year the Clugston Lincolnshire National produces a headline.
In 2015, James Banks booted West Of The Edge to victory to complete a double for him and trainer Dai Williams who had made the long journey from west Wales.
As many as five horses had a chance at the last fence in 2016 before Gonalston Cloud, from Nick Kent’s Brigg stables, and ridden by Adam Wedge, pulled out a bit more to take the prize ahead of Amiral Collonges.
Last December, Amiral Collonges was an unlucky runner-up again, having to give second best to 7-1 chance Cyclop.
As well as the serious business, there is also entertainment for all ages, including real reindeers on course, along with a sleigh and Christmas elves, festive pony rides, giant Christmas tree giveaways, a Guinness marquee, a Salvation Army choir, plus a prize Mr and Mrs Competition.
Nadia Powell, Market Rasen Racecourse general manager, said: “Visitors who buy their tickets before Boxing Day get the best prices, so purchasing in advance is a great idea.
“I would also recommend people to set off in plenty of time to get to the racecourse on Boxing Day.
“The racecourse is clearly signed, with a number of routes in place and we urge all visitors to follow them and to get here early.”
Gates open from 10.10am with the first race off at 12.10pm, and the finale of the seven-race card at 3.30pm.
Adult tickets are from £11.70 in advance (£13 on the day) for the Lawn Enclosure, Tattersalls advance admission is £19.80 (£22 on the day) and County is £24.30 (£27 on the day).
* The penultimate meeting of the year takes place on Thursday, when the latest County Raceday takes place.
For further details of both events, visit www.marketrasen.thejockeyclub.co.uk