Plumpton Racecourse is all set for its second raceday of the season, writes Charlie Day.

The Bob Champion Cancer Trust Race Day on Monday will be a day packed full of key fundraising with a silent auction, raffle and charity lunch all taking place.

There will also be a Shetland Pony race before the main action begins, which will no doubt make for a thoroughly entertaining spectacle.

They begin racing in the afternoon with a trio of novice events - a 2m hurdle, a 3m1½f handicap chase and a 2m handicap hurdle. Everything will then build to the feature race, a handicap chase over 2m3½f. The fifth race, a 2m handicap hurdle is sure to be another exciting contest. The penultimate race is another 2m3½f handicap chase. Then the action comes to a close with a handicap hurdle over 3m1f.

The central goal of the race day is to raise funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, a charity dedicated to helping people fight the dreadful disease that is cancer. Its founder and namesake, Bob Champion, suffered from the disease shortly before his heroic comeback as a jockey, during which he famously won the Grand National aboard Aldaniti for trainer Josh Gifford in 1981. The horse himself had come back from a serious injury and their story captured the hearts of a nation, even making it to the big screen in 1984 with the film ‘Champions’ notably starring John Hurt as Bob Champion.

Local trainer and the son of Josh Gifford, Nick Gifford, will be looking for his own success on Monday on what will undoubtedly be a poignant day for him. The final race is named in honour of his father and the feature race is named in honour of Nick Embiricos, the owner of Aldaniti. In the feature race he has entered course and distance winner Fairway Freddy and if he were to emerge victorious it would be a rather fitting success.

The big guns amongst the training ranks are now beginning to make their presence known this jumps season. Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Alan King and Jonjo O’Neill all have entries on Monday and will be looking to stamp their authority on the card. Although as always, there is set to be a substantial local presence, with Suzy Smith, Cynthia Woods and as mentioned, Nick Gifford all having entries. Lewes based trainers Jim and Suzi Best are well represented with five entries. Neil Mulholland has five entries too and it appears that he will send a strong contingent east from his stables in Limpley Stoke, near Bath, Somerset. In total there’s a sizeable ninety-seven entries for the meeting.

The feature race, the fourth race of the meeting, a 2m3½f handicap chase has 13 entries and looks set to be a fascinating contest with a plethora of stables represented. Toby Lawes has entered two of his horses, Surrey Quest and Zacony Rebel, the other eleven entries are all from different trainers. Chris Gordon’s Lord Baddesley has an entry and boasts an impressive record at the track, winning on two of his four visits. Keep an eye on Harry Fry’s Deeper Blue who’s also been entered. The lightly raced son of Muhtathir won two of his four starts last year, impressing on both of those occasions and has only been seen once over fences. Warren Greatrex, Joe Tizzard, Gary Moore, Fergal O’Brien and Harry Skelton all also have entries in the race.

In the fifth race there are fifteen entries. Charlie Longsdon’s Alien Storm will be looking for redemption after falling at the last over the same course and distance last month. A course and distance winner at the meeting last year, he is sure to have many supporters. Alan King has just the one entry at the meeting in the shape of Theonlywayiswessex in the sixth race. The Scottish trainer has a rather impressive strike rate of 20% at Plumpton over the last twelve months. The fact that he may be sending just the one horse down from his Barbury Castle stables in Swindon is something to take notice of.

Once again Plumpton has attracted equine talent from far and wide, showcasing its status as an increasingly important venue on the jump racing circuit. As the jumps season swings into gear, ever more thrilling action promises to be on Plumpton’s scenic horizon.

Tickets for the race day can be booked by clicking here.