Fontwell Course Guide

Located in West Sussex, Fontwell Park stages National Hunt racing all year round but the highlight of its calendar is the Grade2 National Spirit Handicap Hurdle in late February. The contest is named after National Spirit, a dual winner of the Champion Hurdle in the 1940s, who won five times at Fontwell Park during his illustrious career.

The race was initially run over two miles and two furlongs as a Champion Hurdle Trial, with dual Champion Hurdle hero Comedy of Errors amongst previous winners. It is now run over two miles and four furlongs as a handicap and the David Pipe-trained Lough Derg won the race in both 2008 and 2009. The National Spirit is seen as a World Hurdle Trial and in 2006 My Way De Solzen became the first winner of the National Spirit to go onto win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Star stayer Baracouda also won both races, albeit in different campaigns.

Jumps Racing

Fontwell Jumps RacingTimeform

Left handed, sharp; the chase course is a figure of eight circuit, whilst the hurdles track is oval. The stiff finish is testing on heavy ground, races often developing from far out. The fences are easy but, given the nature of the track, course specialists abound. On the chase course, the lead rarely changes hands on the run in but often looks as though it might. The paddock exit is situated halfway up the run-in on the hurdles course and can lead to horses idling/ducking out on seeing it. On soft/heavy going the hurdles course favours those who race wide.

Having a figure-of-eight configuration on the chase track, Fontwell can suit quirky horses. I don’t know if that’s because it disorientates them, or simply keeps them interested, but it does seem to help a few ‘thinkers’. It puts a premium on jumping, too, and, if you’re on a novice that’s slick over the fences, you can get away from the others thanks to wasting little time in the air. If you are behind, though, but still within shouting distance of a faster one, the stiff finish gives you a chance to get back up.

View from the saddle: Mick FitzgeraldMick Fitzgerald

Advance Going

  • Good
    good to firm in places

Current Weather

Forecast: Sunny

Temperature: 9.5° - 22.0°

Rainfall: 0.32cm

Wind: 11.3mph N

Last Update: 22/05/2018 12:00

Forecast: Mostly sunny

Temperature: 12.3° - 21.8°

Rainfall: 0.48cm

Wind: 11.5mph NE

Last Update: 22/05/2018 12:00

Replays & Results

17:00 Fuller's Brewery Mares' Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 1f 210y)
Orange, olive green sash, brown cap (Mr Steven Astaire)
  • Winner: Kimora
  • Jockey: Miss Emma Yardley
  • Trainer: C W Loggin
  • Owner: Mr Steven Astaire

17:30 Henry Carr's 24th Birthday Celebrations Ladies' Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 135y)
Royal blue, black sleeves and cap (Mrs J H Docker)
  • Winner: Forever My Friend
  • Jockey: Miss Jodie Hughes
  • Trainer: Mickey Bowen
  • Owner: Mrs J H Docker

18:05 Peter Mendoza Memorial 'placepot Pete' Novices' Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 1f 210y)
Purple, yellow hoop, hooped sleeves, yellow cap (Mr Ian Slatter)
  • Winner: Bally River Boy
  • Jockey: Miss A Stirling
  • Trainer: Jake Slatter
  • Owner: Mr Ian Slatter

18:40 Racing Welfare Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week Grassroots Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 135y)
Royal blue, white braces, royal blue sleeves, white stars, royal blue cap, white star (Gane, Fogg & Nicholls)
  • Winner: Monsieur Gibraltar
  • Jockey: Mr L Williams
  • Trainer: Mrs Loxton
  • Owner: Gane, Fogg & Nicholls

19:15 United Hunts Champion Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 3f 149y)
Purple, red epaulets (Rjh Geffen, Sir J Ritblat, R Waley-coh)
  • Winner: Wonderful Charm
  • Jockey: Mr W Biddick
  • Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: Rjh Geffen, Sir J Ritblat, R Waley-coh

19:50 Westbourne Racing Club Maiden Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 135y)
White, brown hoops and armlets, brown and white quartered cap (Mr M B Clarke)
  • Winner: Steeles Terrace
  • Jockey: Mr Richard Collinson
  • Trainer: A Pennock
  • Owner: Mr M B Clarke

20:25 Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 1f 165y)
Red, royal blue hollow box, check cap (Mr David O'brien)
  • Winner: Numbercruncher
  • Jockey: Mr David O'Brien
  • Trainer: David O'brien
  • Owner: Mr David O'brien
Fontwell logo

Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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