Brilliant atmosphere provides perfect backdrop for first Plumpton meet of the new decade

The Sky Sports Racing Sussex National fixture at Plumpton was the perfect way to bring in the new year with a brilliant atmosphere and quality renewal of the big race itself.

Race action from the first meet of the new decade at Plumpton
Race action from the first meet of the new decade at Plumpton

Competing for a £32,000 pot, 11 runners went to post and coming round the home turn with just two of the 20 fences left to jump, there were four horses in with a real chance of victory.

Come the last, the first three had pulled clear and ultimately Christmas in April prevailed by just under two lengths for Harry Cobden and trainer Colin Tizzard in a pulsating finish.

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The roars that greeted the jumps at the last fence and crossing the finish line were electric and it was a brilliant renewal of one of Plumpton’s feature races.

Uallrightharry (trainer Linda Jewell, jockey Brendan Powell) came a gallant second and 50/1 shot Rathlin Rose was third (trainer David Pipe, jockey Tom Scudamore).

With more than £90.000 on offer on the card, there were some great horses on show and both Highway One O Two and Lightly Squeeze put up stellar performances and are both firmly on the upgrade.

In fact, Lightly Squeeze was completing his third victory (and at ease down 14 lengths) since Boxing Day – a great performance.

The day also saw the fourth of the five Cheltenham bonus races to be run in the 2019/20 season, with De Plotting Shed turning over the 2/7 favourite Who Dares Wins by a dwindling neck at the line under a good ride from jockey Scudamore for trainer Suzi Best.

He now qualifies for a £60,000 bonus at the Cheltenham Festival if he wins any steeplechase.

Plumpton’s next fixture is on January 15 - the Timeform raceday, which is set to be an exciting affair.

Gates Open at 11am, first race 1.05pm and last race 3.45pm.

Discounted advance tickets from £14 are available at