Exeter Races set to stage first of two December race meetings

SANTA HAS A DAY AT THE RACES - Race goes get in the Christmas spirt by dressing up as Santa - PHOT

SANTA HAS A DAY AT THE RACES - Race goes get in the Christmas spirt by dressing up as Santa - PHOTO mandatory by-line: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle - Photo Agency UK Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 - Mobile:0797 1270 681 - VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 - 17/12/2009 - EQUESTRIAN - HORSE RACING - Exeter Racecourse, Haldon, Devon - Credit: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle

Race goers have the chance to get the festive season underway on Friday (December 2) at Exeter Racecourse, with the first of two December meetings, writes Lucy Johnson.

Pre-booked Grandstand and Paddock tickets are available for just £5 each for groups of ten or more plus there’s a scrumptious Festive package on the menu too that includes Premier admission, a racecard, a baguette or Chunks pie, a mince pie and a glass of sparkling wine, all for just £30.

This meeting is renowned for the quality of its racing with high profile horses among the winners in recent years. Last year Lizzie Kelly was on board Tea For Two when he won the Harry Dutfield Memorial Novices’ Chase run over two miles three furlongs. The combination went on to grade one glory in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day with Lizzie the first ever-British female rider to record a success at this level.

The previous year Saphir De Rheu was the winner and he went on to win Aintree’s grade one Betfred Mildmay Novices’ Chase. In 2013 it was Caid De Berlais who led the field home and in 2014 he added Cheltenham’s BetVictor Gold Cup to his tally. The concluding bumper on the card is always in interesting race too with previous runners including the likes of Vibrato Valtat, a subsequent Haldon Gold Cup winner.

Daniel Thompson, the course’s general manager, said: “With Christmas creeping ever closer, this Friday meeting is the perfect opportunity to take a day off work, make it a long weekend, and combine it with the office party. The framing of the races means it tends to attracts the very best quality of runners and we are hopeful that this tradition will continue next Friday.”

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The first of the seven races gets underway at 12.20 and there’s a free bus to the racecourse that leaves Exeter St David’s at 10.40am and Exeter Bus and Coach Station at 10.55am and returns 30 minutes after the last race.

For more information and to book tickets head over to www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk.

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