Monmore have filled nine of their first set of Winter Festival races, each worth £500 to the winner and £100 to others and getting underway on Saturday writes Floyd Amphlett.

Lee Field

The first set drew runners from five other tracks plus a number of unattached trainers.

In truth, this first meeting failed to attract many ‘household names’, though Fengate Collar winner Fernhill Rex makes an appearance in a 416m event. The best of the 480s sees an interesting clash between would-be track champions Droopys Rob, Forest Mike and Plan Ahead.

The meeting also coincides with the announcement that Fernhill Rex’s trainer Lee Field is to take over Chris Allsopp’s range and will be contracted to Monmore from January.

Racing manager Tony Williamson said: “I am delighted Lee will be joining us. It is good to get an enthusiastic young trainer and he should be taking over most of Chris’s dogs.

“As far as the meeting is concerned, I was quite pleased with the entry, nine opens on a Saturday and a chance for our local dogs to run for good money. But it might be worth reminding other trainers that we do it all again in another fortnight.”