Excitement Builds for New Winter Million Festival

News | 17th January 2022

The innovative three‐day meeting, held at Lingfield Park this weekend, will be a unique festival combining
high‐quality jump racing with the cream of the all‐weather Flat stars.

With a total of £1 million in prizemoney up for grabs at the newly established Winter Million Festival it’s no surprise there have been some strong entries spread across the 21 races at Lingfield Park. 

The action kicks off on Friday with a seven‐race jumps card before the racing switches to Lingfield’s all‐weather track on Saturday for a high‐quality Flat line-up. 

The culmination of a superb three days sees the jumpers return on Sunday when there are sure to be many Cheltenham Festival hopefuls on display.

Historic Lingfield Park thrust into the spotlight in the Winter Million

Fondly known as ‘Leafy Lingfield’ among regular racegoers for its picturesque setting in Surrey near the border with both Kent and Sussex, it has been hosting race meetings for more than 130 years.

It was opened in 1890 by the Prince Of Wales ‐ later to be crowned King Edward VII ‐ first as a jumps track. Four years later it hosted its first Flat meeting and it has been a dual‐purpose course ever since.


Lingfield Park Winter Million
Horses race towards the line at Lingfield Park

Lingfield staged the first British all‐weather meeting in 1989 in a pioneering move that changed the shape of Flat racing. The Group 3 Winter Derby, held on the all‐weather track at the end of February, is one of the highlights of the course’s year.

It also holds Classic trials in May that have been used as a stepping stone to glory in the Derby and the Oaks on numerous occasions. Last year Adayar finished runner‐up in the Lingfield Derby Trial before going on to victory in the premier Classic at Epsom.

Anthony Van Dyck Lingfield Park
Anthony Van Dyck - winner of both the Lingfield Derby Trial and Epsom Derby

Winter Million Festival adds more big races to Lingfield’s roster

The opening day features the £100,000 Sovereign Handicap Hurdle. The 2 mile contest has attracted some smart entries including Grade 1 winners Metier and Esprit Du Large, as well as Irish raider Lucky Max, talented veteran Hunters Call and reliable Garry Clermont.

Other races on Friday’s card include the 2m7f Winter Million Hurdle worth £50,000. Grade 2 winners Emitom and On The Blind Side both feature among the entries.

The racing switches to the Polytrack all‐weather course on Saturday when the £100,000 Coral Winter Oaks over 1m2f is the main event.

The fillies’ handicap has attracted entries from some of Flat racing’s top stables including Roger Charlton’s rapidly‐improving Umm Hurair, James Fanshawe’s four‐time winner Viola and smart prospect Miss Marble, trained by Simon and Ed Crisford.

The hugely successful stables of Mark and Charlie Johnston, Roger Varian, George Boughey and David Simcock all have horses entered in the contest that is supported by six competitive races.

Sunday to Savour

The brand new three‐day festival culminates with a cracking jumps card on Sunday.

The Fleur De Lys Chase ‐ worth £150,000 and the most valuable race of the Winter Million – is the feature race.

With so much prizemoney up for grabs it’s no surprise the 2m6f race has a top‐class list of entries. Three‐time Betfair Chase hero Bristol De Mai is on course to line up, with Grade 1 winners Waiting Patiently, Dashel Drasher, Itchy Feet and Fakir D’Oudairies also among the quality‐packed list of possibles.

The £30,000 racehorselotto.com Surrey National also features on the seven‐race card that is sure to contain Cheltenham Festival contenders throughout the afternoon.

With forecasters promising some excellent weather, the inaugural Winter Million is shaping up to be a fantastic three days of superb racing action.