Plumpton’s big race this Sunday as the 2013 running of the Sussex National takes place

Double Dizzy winner of the 2012 Sussex National

Double Dizzy winner of the 2012 Sussex National

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Racegoers have the chance to welcome the New Year in in fine style when Plumpton Racecourse holds its At The Races Sussex National Raceday on Sunday (January 6).

The highlight of Plumpton’s richest race meeting of the season is the £20,000 At The Races Sussex National, ran over a marathon three miles, five furlongs.

This race can be a stepping-stone for potential National runners elsewhere. A total of 26 horses had been entered at the five-day stage, including last year’s winner Double Dizzy. There are also potential runners from leading trainers Donald McCain, Jonjo O’Neill and Nigel Twiston-Davies.

On top of that, there is also a tremendous supporting programme of races as prizemoney on the day totals £59,000.

This includes the ATR Novices Chase over two miles, one furlong, one of the qualifying races for Plumpton’s SIS-sponsored £60,000 Cheltenham Festival Bonus. This programme has attracted many of the UK’s leading trainers and jockeys.

And a spokeswoman for Plumpton said the mood off the course should be just as vibrant. She said: “A festive atmosphere is guaranteed with mulled wine and live music from popular Irish band Reel Strings. Desert Orchid’s jockey Colin Brown will also be on hand to guide you through the day’s racing, with features and interviews through the afternoon from the parade ring.”

Doors open at 11am with a tipster panel at 12.15pm and the first race underway at 12.55pm.

Visit plumptonracecourse.co.uk or call 01273 890383.

Our horse racing correspondent, Jason Hall, writes:

Plumpton Racecourse stage their principal meeting of the year this Sunday and the seven-race card has attracted 148 entries at the five day stage.

This impressive statistic confirms the popularity of the day amongst the racing fraternity and has the Sussex National as the feature event. Last year’s winner of the big race, Double Dizzy, is amongst the 26 early entries and the Bob Buckler-trained 12-year-old suggested a return to form was imminent on his most recent outing.

He has generally been competing at a higher level than he will face on Sunday and, when considering the comfortable manner in which he won this race last year, he has to be considered a leading player again for this renewal.

Charlie Longsdon is building a great record at Plumpton and he has inherited the eight-year-old chaser Reblis who he has entered for the Sussex National.

Reblis was just touched off by Mission Complete at Warwick on his seasonal return and first outing for his new trainer.

Both have an entry here and Longsdon is proving a dab hand at eliciting improvement from handicappers placed in his care.

Reblis has winning form at Plumpton and I expect him to improve past his Warwick conqueror and put in a bold show on Sunday. Gary Moore was the former trainer of Reblis and he will be keen for his entry Well Refreshed to give a good performance.

Moore has been the leading trainer at Plumpton for a number of years and his lightly weighted progressive type will be certain to be in tip top shape if he takes this opportunity.

Peter Bowen has also won this race in the past and of his two entries Hodgson could prove interesting toward the foot of the weights.

If the majority of the five day entries stand their ground, this year’s renewal looks like it could be one of the most competitive for a number of years.

And with the rest of the card looking to shape up in a similar vein, Plumpton race goers should be in for a treat on the first Sunday of the new calendar year.