Racing: Plan Ahead

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THIS YEAR'S Christmas holiday offers two days of National Hunt racing to refresh the appetite. There are eight meetings on Monday, 27 December. Of the five meetings the following day, the Christmas Hurdle is the highlight at Kempton Park, while at Chepstow the Welsh National will be run.

Kempton Park is Monday's main meeting, offering the King George VI Chase, a race that ranks second in the steeplechasing season to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Kempton is also offering discounts to the Members and Grandstand enclosures up to 16 December.

The Rowland Merrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Monday is one of the north's leading steeplechases and Market Rasen will run the Lincolnshire National over four miles one furlong. The other five meetings always attempt to have above-average fields for the day.

KEMPTON PARK racecourse, Sunbury- on-Thames, Middlesex (Tel: 0932 782292), is on A308 near junction 1 of M3. Admission: Monday: Club pounds 20 ( pounds 16 pre-booked) (junior members 16-25 years pounds 14, pounds 10 pre-booked). Grandstand pounds 13 ( pounds 10). (Junior Grandstand pounds 7 in advance only). Silver Ring pounds 6. Accompanied children under-16 free. Parking: Members car park pounds 5 (limited and must be pre- booked), Centre car park free. (First race 12.45pm). Tuesday: Club pounds 15 ( pounds 12 pre- booked) (junior members 16-25 years pounds 11, pounds 9 pre-booked). Grandstand pounds 10 ( pounds 8) (Junior Grandstand pounds 4 in advance). Silver ring pounds 4. Parking as Monday (12.45).

HUNTINGDON, Cambridgeshire (0480 453373), is at Brampton, two miles west of Huntingdon on A604 and close to A1. Members pounds 11. Tattersalls pounds 8. Course enclosure pounds 4. Accompanied children under- 16 free. 20 per cent reduction for parties of 15 or more in advance. (12.30pm).

MARKET RASEN, Lincolnshire (0673 843434), is one mile east of town on A631. Club members pounds 12 (junior members 16-21 pounds 7). Tattersalls pounds 7. Silver Ring pounds 3.50. OAPs who are members of Jubilee Club can enter Tattersall for pounds 4 and Silver Ring for pounds 2. Accompanied children 16 and under free. Parking free except in picnic area pounds 2 per car plus Silver Ring entrance. (12.55pm).

NEWTON ABBOT, Devon (0626 53235), is north of the town on A380, six miles from Torquay and 17 from Exeter. Paddock pounds 8.50. Course pounds 4. Accompanied children under-16 and parking free. (12.45pm).

SEDGEFIELD, Co Durham (Information 0740-621925; raceday 0740 620366), is 1 3/4 miles south west of town, near junction A689 Bishop Auckland road and A177 Durham road, seven miles north- west of Stockton-on-Tees. Paddock pounds 8 (OAPs pounds 4). Course pounds 2. Accompanied children under-16 free. Parking: free. (12.50pm).

WETHERBY, West Yorkshire (0937 582035), is east of town off B1224 York road, adjacent to A1. Daily Club (limited) pounds 12. Tattersalls pounds 7. Course pounds 2 (OAPs pounds 1). Cars to centre of course (up to four adults) pounds 6. Accompanied children under-16 and general parking free. (1pm).

WINCANTON, Somerset (0963 32344), is one mile north of town on B3081 from A303. Members pounds 11.50. Tattersalls pounds 8. Course pounds 4. Accompanied children under-16 and parking free. (12.40pm).

WOLVERHAMPTON, West Midlands (0902 24481), is one mile north of town on A449, junction 2 of M54 or junction 12 of M6. Club pounds 15. Course pounds 5. Dining package (includes lunch, table for afternoon and admission) pounds 21 per head. Parking: free. (1.35pm).

CHEPSTOW, Gwent (0291 622260), is two miles from the Severn Bridge, taking junction 22 of M4, then A48 and follow signs to course. Admission on 28 December: Members pounds 16. Tattersalls pounds 11. Accompanied children under-16 and parking free. (12.20pm).