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 soft in places

Current Weather

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 11.5° - 19.4°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 10.4mph W

Last Update: 22/05/2017 17:00x

  • No current information

Upcoming Races

Replays & Results

17:10 Mares' Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 1f 106y)
Royal blue, pink star, white and pink hooped sleeves, royal blue cap, pink star (Miss Sarah A Dawson)
  • Winner: Queen Olivia
  • Jockey: Mr S Davies-Thomas
  • Trainer: Miss V Collins
  • Owner: Miss Sarah A Dawson

17:40 Henry Carr 23rd Birthday Celebrations Ladies' Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 31y)
Dark blue and yellow (quartered), yellow and maroon hooped sleeves, yellow cap (Glebe House Racing Club)
  • Winner: Never Complain
  • Jockey: Miss T Worsley
  • Trainer: Mrs F Marshall
  • Owner: Glebe House Racing Club

18:10 Porto Racing Specialist Horse Racing Saddlery Novices' Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 1f 106y)
Red, yellow cap (Mr Alan Hill)
  • Winner: Supreme Danehill
  • Jockey: Mr Joe Hill
  • Trainer: Alan Hill
  • Owner: Mr Alan Hill

18:40 Peter Mendoza Memorial 'Jellyfish' Grassroots Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 31y)
Black, emerald green star, emerald green cap, black star (Mr J R M Ridge)
  • Winner: Curraigflemens
  • Jockey: Mr S Davies-Thomas
  • Trainer: D J Kemp
  • Owner: Mr J R M Ridge

19:15 United Hunts Champion Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (3m 3f 45y)
Dark blue and white stripes, red sleeves, white armlets, red cap (Toby Hunt & Alan Hill)
  • Winner: Man Of Steel
  • Jockey: Mr Joe Hill
  • Trainer: Alan Hill
  • Owner: Toby Hunt & Alan Hill

19:50 Weatherbys Printing Open Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 1f 96y)
Red, brown sleeves, red cap, brown hoop (Mr David Maxwell)
  • Winner: Darwins Fox
  • Jockey: Mr D Maxwell
  • Trainer: D M Christie
  • Owner: Mr David Maxwell

20:20 Westbourne Racing Club Maiden Hunters' Chase

(Class 6) (2m 5f 31y)
Orange, red star, checked sleeves, orange cap, red star (Mr Kevin Salter)
  • Winner: Spencer Moon
  • Jockey: Mr B Moorcroft
  • Trainer: Kieran Price
  • Owner: Mr Kevin Salter
Fontwell logo

Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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