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 to firm
    good in places

Current Weather

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 12.9° - 21.5°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 14.2mph SW

Last Update: 22/08/2017 17:00x

  • No current information

Upcoming Races

Replays & Results

13:30 totepool Fontwell All Weather Bend Handicap Hurdle

(Class 5) (2m 1f 162y)
White, royal blue star, white sleeves, royal blue spots, royal blue cap, white star (G P And Miss S J Hayes)
  • Winner: Magical Thomas
  • Jockey: N D Fehily
  • Trainer: N P Mulholland
  • Owner: G P And Miss S J Hayes

14:00 'Happy Birthday Caitlin And Emily' Handicap Chase

(Class 5) (2m 1f 165y)
Black and white stripes, white sleeves, quartered cap (The Affordable (3) Partnership)
  • Winner: Code Of Law
  • Jockey: N D Fehily
  • Trainer: N P Mulholland
  • Owner: The Affordable (3) Partnership

14:30 Roy Cook '80 Today' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 4) (3m 1f 166y)
Yellow, dark green chevrons, dark green and yellow chevrons on sleeves, dark green cap, yellow stars (Mr Phill Meaden)
  • Winner: Findusatgorcombe
  • Jockey: Bryony Frost
  • Trainer: J D Frost
  • Owner: Mr Phill Meaden

15:00 Fat Farmer Cooper Challenge Handicap Chase

(Class 4) (3m 1f 210y)
Dark blue and yellow (quartered), striped sleeves (Paul & Clare Rooney)
  • Winner: Gingili
  • Jockey: N D Fehily
  • Trainer: Johnny Farrelly
  • Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney

15:30 Finding Miss Fontwell Classic Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 1f 162y)
Black, light blue armlets (John Connolly & Odile Griffith)
  • Winner: Balancing Time
  • Jockey: L P Aspell
  • Trainer: Mrs A J Perrett
  • Owner: John Connolly & Odile Griffith

16:00 Fontwell Park RaceBets Oktoberfest Novices' Chase

(Class 4) (2m 5f 135y)
Dark blue, royal blue stars, dark blue and red halved sleeves, red cap (The Brooks, Stewart Families & J Kyle)
  • Winner: Black Corton
  • Jockey: Bryony Frost
  • Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: The Brooks, Stewart Families & J Kyle

16:30 Mr And Mrs Jamieson Wedding Celebration Handicap Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 3f 49y)
Red, yellow diamond, red sleeves, yellow spots, red cap, yellow diamond (Miss Jayne Brace & Mr Gwyn Brace)
  • Winner: Get Home Now
  • Jockey: James Bowen
  • Trainer: P Bowen
  • Owner: Miss Jayne Brace & Mr Gwyn Brace
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Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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