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

Current Going

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Current Weather

Forecast: Light snow shower

Temperature: -1.1° - 1.5°

Rainfall: 1.81cm

Wind: 14.4mph NE

Last Update: 18/03/2018 12:00

Forecast: Mostly sunny

Temperature: -0.7° - 4.3°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 14.4mph NE

Last Update: 18/03/2018 12:00

Replays & Results

13:40 E.B.F. Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 5f 164y)
Royal blue, large white spots, red sleeves and cap (Mighty Acorn Stables)
  • Winner: Belle Empress
  • Jockey: Nick Scholfield
  • Trainer: Miss E C Lavelle
  • Owner: Mighty Acorn Stables

14:15 Hugos Restaurant Barbados Handicap Chase

(Class 4) (2m 1f 165y)
Royal blue, brown sleeves and cap (Mrs Frank Caudwell)
  • Winner: Clondaw Westie
  • Jockey: David Bass
  • Trainer: Mrs Lawney Hill
  • Owner: Mrs Frank Caudwell

14:50 Cin Cin By The Sea Barbados Mares' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 3) (2m 1f 162y)
Grey, black sash, black and grey quartered cap (Living In Hope Partnership)
  • Winner: Banjo Girl
  • Jockey: Maxime Tissier
  • Trainer: Mrs L Wadham
  • Owner: Living In Hope Partnership

15:25 Primo Bar & Bistro Barbados Handicap Hurdle

(Class 3) (3m 1f 166y)
White, dark blue epaulets, chevrons on sleeves, white cap, dark blue star (Six To Five Against)
  • Winner: Kris Spin
  • Jockey: Mitchell Bastyan
  • Trainer: Miss Kerry Lee
  • Owner: Six To Five Against

16:00 Graeme Brooks Is A Good Guy Handicap Chase

(Class 5) (3m 1f 210y)
Pink, black sleeves, pink armlets, black cap (Mr P S Wardle And Mr J N Allen)
  • Winner: Canyouhearmenow
  • Jockey: M Goldstein
  • Trainer: Mrs D M Grissell
  • Owner: Mr P S Wardle And Mr J N Allen

16:35 Doug Newman Is A Good Guy Handicap Hurdle

(Class 4) (2m 3f 49y)
Royal blue and orange check, royal blue sleeves, royal blue cap, orange star (Brooks, Fulton, Stewart & Vogt)
  • Winner: Magoo
  • Jockey: Alexander Thorne
  • Trainer: P F Nicholls
  • Owner: Brooks, Fulton, Stewart & Vogt

17:10 Vote Mia Mottley Of BLP Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

(Class 5) (3m 1f 166y)
Purple, light green spots, royal blue sleeves, light green cap (Mrs C New)
  • Winner: Fizzlestix
  • Jockey: Harry Reed
  • Trainer: C Gordon
  • Owner: Mrs C New
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Address & Contact

Fontwell Park Racecourse
West Sussex
BN18 0SX
01243 543335
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