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Racing is back with four meetings

Horse racing is back on Wednesday with four meetings. After six blank days, Plumpton and Musselburgh stage fixtures over jumps, while Kempton and Southwell hold all-weather cards.

Plumpton’s second race (the 2.40) is the Sedgefielders (Plumpton Division) Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. You may be puzzled how Sedgefield ties in with Plumpton so here’s the reason.

The Sedgefielders are a band of enthusiasts led by well-known author Sean Magee. His ambition was to visit every course in Britain. Sedgefield was the last one on his list and so he sponsored a race there to mark the occasion. The group includes Racing Post writers Steve Dennis, Lee Mottershead and David Ashforth. Others include a book publisher, a BBC radio producer and the custodian of Britain’s largest racing library. The sport’s return comes in the nick of time for them to sponsor the Plumpton contest in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Although there are just three runners, any of them could win.

Better, then, to wait half an hour for the 2m 4f handicap hurdle at 3.10. Here, it could be worth taking a chance with the bottom weight, Mr Jack. Linda Jewell’s horse finished second over half a mile shorter at this course on 6 January. He then ran fourth at Huntingdon over 2m 3½f, carrying top weight of 12st. Mistakes at the last two flights did not help his cause. This race won’t take much winning and, with only 10st 13lb to carry, he’s worth a bet at around 7-1.

Racing is back in time for the weekend too

Now that the all-clear has been given, we can look forward to a bumper weekend. The Denman Chase and the Betfair Hurdle, which were both lost when Newbury was abandoned, will be run as part of a nine-race card at Ascot on Saturday. Warwick’s Kingmaker Chase, also lost, now takes place at Sandown on Friday. Meanwhile, Warwick’s Listed Mares’ Hurdle moves to Haydock on Saturday. Bring it on!


About Chris Pitt

Chris Pitt is a racing historian and freelance journalist. He has written three books including 'A Long Time Gone', chronicling Britain's lost racecourses, and 'Go Down to the Beaten', stories of jockeys who didn't win the Grand National. He founded the Midlands Racing Club and was formerly racing correspondent for BBC Radio WM.

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